When we think about the Bible, some might think of stories like David & Goliath. Others might think of great teaching like the Sermon on the Mount. Still others might think of prophesy like the book of Revelation. Or some might think about the rise of a nation, the story of Abraham and the birth of Israel.
But the Bible also offers clear warnings—things to avoid. Here are seven verses warning of the dangers of wealth.
– Those who trust in riches will fall.
So says Proverbs 11.28: “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”
– It is hard for those who trust in riches to enter God’s Kingdom.
Mark 10.23: “Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
– The impossibility of serving God and money.
Mark 6.24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
– Wealth can choke God’s word.
Matthew 13.22: “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
– Wealth can lead to pride that causes us to forget the Lord.
Deut. 8.10-14: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
– Wealth is a temptation and a snare to our hearts.
1 Timothy 6.8-9: “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.”
– Be on guard against wealth.
Luke 12.15: “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Rich in good works and generosity
The Bible does not teach that wealth is evil in itself, but that we are vulnerable to pride, idolatry and selfishness. Given our weakness, wealth poses grave spiritual danger to all who possess it. On the other hand, wealth can be used for good, as the apostle Paul instructs in 1 Timothy 6.17-19:
Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real.
Nonetheless, the Bible includes a sobering set of warnings about wealth. And it’s important to remember that, while nearly everyone is quick to point out that they’re not really wealthy, most Americans enjoy considerably more wealth than many in the rest of the world ever have.
How will we respond to God’s warnings about wealth?
Photo by Michael Held on Unsplash
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Published November 7, 2021
Topics: A Life of Faith