6 Bible Facts About Money That Will Surprise You
Here are 6 Bible facts about money that might surprise you.
God is not against rich People
If you believe that God doesn’t want some of us to be rich then we are not reading what is in the Bible for Abraham was rich beyond most of his day as it says “Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold” (Gen 13:2). He had such wealth that he had the ability to send a force out and attacking kings rulers to rescue Lot and his family and to take back what was stolen from him “After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh” (that is, the King’s Valley)(Gen 13:17) but Abraham refused any rewards from the king saying “I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich” (Gen 13:23) so that God alone would receive the glory for his blessings. Abraham’s son, Isaac and later Isaac’s son, Jacob (Gen 30:43), would both also own very much in “sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys” (Gen 24:46). And of course there is Job who “possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east” (Job 1:3) so clearly God is not against people being rich but He knows those who can handle prosperity and those who prosperity will handle.
Money doesn’t mean Blessed
The religious leaders and many in the Jewish culture during Jesus’ earthly ministry thought that the more money you had, the more that God was blessing you. If you were poor, then you were supposedly under a curse from God and that there must be some sins in your life. Jesus told them that the poor in spirit were blessed by God and has as their reward, the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:3). Even worse for them was that “the meek…shall inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5). Had the Jews not read in 1st Samuel 2:7 that “The LORD makes poor, and makes rich: he brings low, and lifts up.” Jesus told the disciples that no one who leaves their family and fields (meaning their way to earn a living) will fail to receive a hundred times as much in the coming kingdom of God, and that includes eternal life (Mark 10:29-30). He wasn’t saying sell everything, give it to the poor, and live under a bridge. The point is that if someone’s prosperous, it doesn’t necessarily mean that God is blessing them because they are more righteous than others (Rom 3:10-13, 23).
Money as an Idol
The First Commandment to not have any other gods (Ex 20:2-6) before the One, True God is not irrelevant today. We can move God off the throne and put money there and worship it instead. You say, “no way” but I say it happens all the time. In mankind’s pursuit of money, we don’t pursue God. We pour our hearts, souls, mind, and strength into pursuing money instead of pursuing God. Money can be a false god to be sure because money can take care of our every need, it can bring us creature comforts, it can take all the worry about checking the mail; but it can be bowed down to and worshiped in the sense of devoting one’s life and energy in the pursuit of it so actually “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” (1st Tim 6:10). Money is not the root of all evil…it is the love of it and our love belongs squarely to God, first and foremost. Money is not evil, chasing after it is.
Given to Bless
Clearly, many people who have been blessed are blessing many by giving. They are giving for the right reasons; not to be blessed but they will be blessed. We are all stewards of what God has entrusted to us. We can be wise stewards or a foolish one and bury what we’ve been given. By burying it, I mean we could be not spending it on kingdom work but on our own pleasures. I know all too well about the latter. Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man but gave his own grave to Jesus for His burial place and this was likely a very costly location but money was the last thing on Joseph’s mind at the time so it was natural for him to offer his own tomb. When we bless others by giving, we too will be blessed. Not necessarily financially; it could be in how long the washing machine lasts, it could be the foundation of the house stays straight, or whatever else God chooses. Here is how Jesus puts it: “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
The Trap of Money
When Jesus gave the Parable of the Sower He told His listeners how part of the seed died out as the “seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature” (Luke 8:14). Money can become a very powerful addiction, just as Solomon wrote “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless” (Eccl 5:10). James says to the unrighteous rich “You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter” (James 5:5). Paul tells Timothy to tell those who are rich, I “charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1st Tim 6:17).
Contentment without Money
Some of the most joyful people I know barely have two nickels to rub together. They don’t have a lot of possessions, but they do have a lot of contentment and money can’t buy contentment proving that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1st Tim 6:6). If we are not satisfied with what we have, we are essentially grumbling before God and telling Him He’s not a good God when in reality, “if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1st Tim 6:8) or at least should be content. Those who are not content are “those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1st Tim 6:9) and “It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1st Tim 6:10b).
Money is such a good thing but it can be a bad thing too. We can own possessions but the danger is that they can own us. To summarize let me say that God has never been against those who are rich or against someone being rich; the amount of money someone has been blessed with doesn’t mean they’re more righteous; there is always the threat of money replacing God on the throne of our lives; if we are blessed, God expects us to bless others; but we must avoid the trap that money can become, a veritable money pit to fall into; and we should realize that most of the readers here have been blessed abundantly more than the majority of the world has and so “if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1st Tim 6:8).
Article by Pastor Jack Wellman