Do Not Worship the Fickle Idol of Wealth
4) Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. 5) Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
In the 17th century “Enlightenment” movement, secular philosophers like David Hume and John Locke made a watershed impact on Western thought by reducing what could be known about anything to that which could be observed by sight, touch, taste, smell, or hearing. For these men, and the many who have followed them, the supernatural realm was left totally unknowable, the chasm too wide to jump.
Their empiricist thinking dominates our culture today. One area that is especially touched is economic materialism. We have lifted coveteousness to an art form. Greed is our creed. Even Christians have been swept up into its vacuum. We honor the rich man in our midst and pour contempt upon the poor man who is rich in faith (James 2:1-7). But the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God’s sight (1 Corinthians 1:20).
God says that it is a person’s faith that counts (Hebrews 11:6; Galatians 5:6). Faith deals in the realms of the unseen and the future (Hebrews 11:1), not in the material of Hume and Locke. To attribute power to earthly riches and to bow down to them is idolatry. We are called instead to trust in God for all our needs (Matthew 6:28-34). He will not fly away like the eagle of verse 5 here. His riches are permanent and eternal. Trust in the eternal riches of Christ, not in the fleeting idol of materialism.
The rich fool. Jesus told a parable of a rich man who relied on his earthly wealth, yet was not rich toward God. In his case, his own life took wings and flew away. God called him a “fool” because he trusted in the wrong treasure (Luke 12:15-21).
Prayer of Application
Dear Lord, You promised to supply all my needs through Your riches and You’ve done it. Keep me from the idolatry of materialism and focused upon the eternal riches of Christ.
Copyright 2016 – Robert C. Beasley