[bibletalk] Love of Money

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From: Steve Preston <fpccpreston@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 05:17:27 -0800 (PST)
Love of Money

And Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, It is hard for a rich man 
to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a 
camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom 
of God. And when the disciples heard it, they were astonished exceedingly, saying, 
Who then can be saved? (Matthew 19:23-25)

It seemed to be a common belief in Jesus’ time that being rich equaled being in 
favor with God. That would account for the shock the disciples exhibited by our 
Lord’s pronouncement in the above scriptures. Of course further evidence of this 
belief can be traced back to our forefathers in the faith: Abraham, Solomon, Job, 
etc. Thus we can probably imagine that greed was not a problem for the children 
of God because of this belief of riches equaling blessing. If a person believes that 
God wants them to be rich what is to stop them from living to gain financially? 

Our Father certainly wants us to enjoy the fruits of our labor (Matt. 20:15, Eccl. 2:24-26). 
But, there is a big difference between enjoying what we have and living to gain more. A 
love of gain has been the downfall of many. Paul addresses this issue in his first letter to 
Timothy: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after 
have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many 
sorrows” (I Tim. 6:10). Notice particularly that it is “the love of money” and not money 
itself that is the root of many evils. Money is necessary to live in this world. Without some 
standard of finance, no society could function efficiently. However, money will not get us to 
heaven and when we die, none of our material things will go with us. 

In their effort to gain riches, some of the Jews would lend to their brethren and exact usury 
(interest on a loan). This caused a tremendous problem for many that borrowed because in 
their poverty they could not always afford to pay back what was due. After a great outcry 
arose because of this matter, Nehemiah the prophet was sent to those that did the lending. 
His condemnation of this practice was clear: “And I said unto them, We after our ability have 
redeemed our brethren the Jews... and would ye even sell your brethren, and should they be 
sold unto us? The thing that ye do is not good: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God, 
because of the reproach of the nations our enemies? And I likewise, my brethren and my 
servants, do lend them money and grain. I pray you, let us leave off this usury” (Nehemiah 5:8-11). 
The lenders response was also clear: “We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so 
will we do, even as thou sayest” (vs. 12). 

Greed for money, or anything else for that matter, is condemned by God (Isaiah 57:17; Jer. 51:13; 
Rom. 1:29; 2 Pet. 2:14). Let it not be named as a trait among the people of God. Work to provide 
for yourself and those you love. Gain financially so that you can give to those in need (Eph. 4:28). 
Enjoy the fruit of your labor but do not labor just so you will have something to enjoy.  Heaven awaits 
the poor as well as the rich.

In Christ, Steve Preston

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