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The Wealth of Michael Jackson

What of it?

May 12, 2011

When Michael Joseph Jackson passed he was reportedly worth up to five billion dollars. He wanted to ensure his children's financial future by retaining his comprehensive catalogue, a mega goldmine of music. It seemed he always put others, including his children, before him. He didn't have the reputation of being a vain man.

For example, when he made a generous donation, a Los Angeles hospital named its burn ward after him; and although the elementary school he attended named an auditorium after him, he was not like some of the wealthy who "have called their landed estates by their names." (Psalms 49:11, New World Translation) Vanity didn't compel him to stamp his name on a plethora of buildings and land estates in an effort to keep his name alive.

 ‘You Can't Take it With You': Michael knew full well that he couldn't take his money with him. "For at his death," says the Bible, neither rich nor poor can "take along anything at all." (Psalms 49:17, NWT) "Naked came I out of my mother's womb," said Job, "and naked shall I return thither."--Job 1:21, King James Version.

"We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born," proclaimed wise King Solomon. "We can't take our riches with us." (Ecclesiastes 5:15, New Living Translation) Indeed, it is an inescapable truth, the rich "leave their wealth to others." (Psalms 49:10, New International Version) So, what balanced view of money does the Bible outline?

The Proper Perspective: "A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have. We didn't bring anything into the world, and we can't take anything out of it. As long as we have food and clothes, we should be satisfied [as opposed to trying to get rich]. But people who want to get rich keep falling into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful desires which drown them in destruction and ruin. Certainly, the love of money [not money itself] is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people who have set their hearts on getting rich have wandered away from the Christian faith and have caused themselves a lot of grief."--1 Timothy 6:6-10, God's Word Translation.

Celestial Savings: By being generous and doing good works Michael stored up treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:17-19) When alive, he made liberal donations to the Witnesses as well. How do they utilize tax-deductible donations? By engaging in works that place the emphasis on spiritual values. Note these examples:

For the spiritual edification of interested ones the Witnesses have constructed a Web site (www.watchtower.org) that carries a Biblical message in 418 languages. In 2010, there were 51 million visits, an average of 113,000 daily.  Site analytics reveal that 4.5 million hours were spent on the site. Over 100 requests for Bible studies are received daily.  

There is a global need for Kingdom Halls, the primary place of worship for JWs. A program of KH construction (involving 2,000 brothers from 144 countries) began in 1999, when there was a need for 22,613 worldwide. Now it's down to 6,877, with 1,942 being built in 2010 alone. In Malawi JWs were described as worshipers without churches. But by last September one thousand KHs were built in this African country. Unbelievably, the dictionary there now defines JWs as ‘a people who build many churches.'

Witnesses in Haiti now live in 1,700 wood with galvanized sheeting homes built by JWs with funds from worldwide donations. Pre-fabricated missionary homes, made in China, are currently scheduled to be shipped in containers to Haiti, along with a trained crew to assemble them. Appliances, furniture, and other necessary items will come from a Witness facility in upstate New York.

And 161 million copies of What Does the Bible Really Teach?--one of a number of record-settings books produced by the Witnesses--is published in 216 languages. 

Remarkably, Witness literature is available in over 500 languages earth wide! The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, a Bible used by both Witnesses and non-Witnesses, is available in 90 languages, along with an additional six sign language editions. To date, 166 million copies of the New World Translation have been distributed.

Conclusion: Generous Michael was obviously not among those who are "forgetters of God." (Psalms 50:22, NWT) And I am certain God won't forget him either. (Hebrews 6:10) Peace and blessings to all. Amen.