Monday, January 11, 2010

The Root of All Evil

I propose that money is not the root of all evil. I would say that greed is the root of all evil; greed for power, money, and possessions. Money itself is not evil and cannot keep you out of heaven. It is the love of money that will keep you out of the Kingdom of God. The love of any possession can keep you out of the Kingdom of God if you love the possession more than Christ.

In the story of the man that came to Christ in Mark chapter 10, verses 17-22, Christ does not tell the man to repent for owning numerous expensive things. He tells him to sell his things and give the money to the poor, and come follow Him. It was a test. The man loved his stuff so much that he could not give it to the poor, and therefore could not take up the cross and follow Christ. In other words he loved possessions more than Christ, and therefore failed the test.

Further evidence that money is not actually the root of all evil is found in the Old Testament. King David, the second King of Israel, author of many of the psalms found in the Book of Psalms, was known as a righteous and great king. Though he did have his faults, wealth was not one of him. The Bible says that “he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor.” (1 Chronicles 29:28)

A story of even more wealth and righteousness is that of King Solomon. He was the third King of Israel, the son of King David, and very likely the richest prophet of God found in the Bible. Towards the beginning of his reign he prayed to God and asked,
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad…And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words…and I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.” (1 Kings 3:9-14)

Later in 1 King 10:23 we learn that, “king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.” Was this righteous? Should he have given his wealth away to the poor and needy? He could have given food and comfort to hundreds of thousands.

His wealth was a direct blessing from the Lord. God chose to bless him with great wealth. Much of it came in the form of gifts from kings and queens for his wisdom. If money is the root of all evil then why would God bless His prophet and king with so much of it? Money may be the root of some evil, but in itself money is not evil. Both of these Kings of Israel did have faults and did commit sin, but their sin was not wealth. Their sins were a result of corruption by lust.


Melissa Bowman said...

very deep insight.

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