Ramon Arias | June 17, 2015
Approximately 1,400 years before Christ, Moses told the Hebrews, before they crossed into the Promised Land, not to think too highly of themselves by forgetting who was leading them, who controls history and the fate of nations:
“Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 8:17-20)
Wealth and power are not the problem. God has both and He has no problem whatsoever. The outcome of these valuable assets lies with whose ethics are being applied to administer them. That’s the bottom line. And, it’s the difference between the right way and the wrong way, truth and lies. Paul, in writing his first letter to young Timothy, he said:
“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But 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. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:3-10) (Emphasis added)
If you think this through, you will also come to the conclusion that money is not evil but the love of money is the problem. The love-of-money trap is the cause of so much destruction for individuals, families, communities, the nation and the world. It was not meant to be this way; this is not God’s plan.
Why is it then that people with so-called “good” intentions turn out to be the ones who control so much of the world and bring destruction upon so many? Are God’s people doomed to be subservient to the mighty and powerful? Jesus taught us two perspectives for answering these questions:
In the first answer He says, “… For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45)
Man does not control the universe or the seasons on planet Earth. God is sovereign and sustains humanity, both good and evil people, by providing sunshine and rain. The human race, as a whole, bears the image of God, therefore He does not discriminate and gives everyone access to productivity by working the land. This is what the Bible calls God’s grace shining upon humanity.
Throughout history, we read of God’s grace; this is the reason those who oppose His ways are recipients of such unmerited gifts. If they do not repent from their wicked ways during their appointed time to live here on earth they will face the consequences of their rebellion in eternity. We must keep this in mind when we witness the evil done by those who think they own the world, “To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head” (Romans 12:20). “… Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48).
The just and unjust are personally responsible to workout their eternal status by God’s conditions. Paul wanted the believers in Philippi to understand this by reminding them, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
When the unjust person refuses to work out his or her own salvation during this earthly life, condemnation follows throughout eternity. When the unjust solely depend on what he or she thinks as the source of knowledge and power to create wealth, this can only lead to destruction, according to what we read in Deuteronomy 18:17-20. The same ethical principle applies to an unjust society that thinks it can get away with not being under God’s moral law. They will find that they have harmed themselves and caused the destruction of future generations.
On the other hand, the just live by God’s principles, which sets them apart in their quality of thinking and acting. They are committed to reflect God’s character and seek to bring others to repentance knowing that the outcome belongs to God.To be continued…
Read Part One Read Part Three