1st Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
This passage of scripture is a rebuke against the inordinate desire to be rich for riches sake. Wealth in and of itself is not evil, but what the scriptures speaks against is the craving for riches that consumes a person's thoughts, motivations and actions. On the one dollar bill of the United States the following words can be found "in God we trust". We are not certain any more which "god" is being referred to, whether it is The Eternal God or whether it is the god of this world. Our passage of scripture for today not only shows the terrible results of the desire for riches, but it also issues a warning for the children of God to flee these things.
The words "pierced themselves through with many sorrows " are used in the passage for a reason. Justin Bieber cannot seem to stay out of trouble, Michael Jackson died of a drug overdose, and Whitney Houston followed suit not long after, which brings us to the question, is it wrong to be rich? It is not wrong to be rich, if the riches do no cause us to separate ourselves from God, the source of all true riches, and if they are used for His honor and the benefit of the worthy poor.
However, we should be aware that the devil always has a "Plan B" for every good thing God has ordained for the benefit of the human family. In several passages of scripture, the Bible encourages honest work, honest labor and honest investments as the means by which a person may acquire wealth. But the blessing of God does not rest upon the frenzied desires for riches, because more often than not , they cause a person to sacrifice some principles of righteousness in the process. The scriptures speak very plainly on these issues. Let's read:
Proverbs 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
Proverbs 23:5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
Furthermore, the Lord Jesus Christ makes a very profound statement concerning the inordinate desire for gain versus the desire to serve The Living God. Let's read:
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye "cannot" serve God and mammon.
The word "cannot" means that it is impossible! It's just that simple. The principles that govern this world are for all intents and purposes antagonistic to the principles of righteousness and any effort to harmonize them in any way is ultimately destined for complete failure. Long lines will be made as many people assemble to purchase their mega-millions tickets. Some will stand in long lines in the hot sun or in the snow to secure their chances of getting rich. But how many of the very same people would be willing to go through the same ordeal to hear the word God or to attend prayer meeting!
As Christians we should be very careful lest the principles and motivating factors that govern the secular world, invade our thinking, and thereby cause us to imperceptibly lose our focus on Christ and the glories that await those who serve Him out of love. It is our hope and prayer that everyone would consider the true purposes of life, and through the grace of God keep ourselves from the deceitfulness of riches. We therefore close with a text and a promise that should encourage us to stay focused on God. Let's read:
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
May this be our hope and aspiration today and forever. God bless!