The Noose of Greed: 1 Timothy 6:9-10
“9) But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10) For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Paul now warns Timothy of one of the greatest dangers of the human soul. He exposes the love of money and the pursuit of wealth. In verse nine he uses three word pictures to describe the lure of the desire to get rich. Let’s look at them.
First, Paul warned Timothy that the seed of greed would cause him to fall endlessly into temptation. Jesus was tempted for forty days and nights, then it came to an end. But Paul warned that the desire to get rich is an unending fall into temptation. The lust for money is never satisfied. It becomes a god that can never be appeased.
This pit is lined with every form of sin. The companions of greed are pride, fleshly passions, sensual lusts, every form of addiction, human exploitation and many evil vices.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray to the Father and ask that He “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13) This prayer includes begging the Father to pluck the seed of greed out of our soul. Few things lead faster into temptation than the desire to get rich.
Second, Paul warned Timothy that the seed of greed would automatically place snares and traps in his life. Snares by design are hidden and they are deadly. The purpose of a snare is to choke the life out of its unsuspecting victim. When you make becoming rich your life goal, you automatically put a noose around your own neck.
Ironically, that’s exactly how Judas died. His desire to get rich turned him into a traitor and choked the life out of him. He abandoned Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. His love of money put a noose around his neck and he went out and hanged himself. His fate was not coincidental! It illustrates this point.
Finally, Paul warned Timothy that the seed of greed would fill his life with “many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” These foolish and harmful desires become compulsions that drive people to the point of having no wisdom, common sense or self restraint. They thoughtlessly sacrifice marriage, family, friends, reputation, good stewardship and their spiritual life on the altar dedicated to the god of greed and money.
Note the word “plunge” in verse nine. It is the idea of standing on a cliff and taking a dive into certain ruin and destruction. Why? Because the greedy are blinded. They fail to look before they leap. There is no promise of a net to catch them or water to stop their fall. At the bottom is concrete painted blue. It is a plunge into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. The splash at the bottom punctuates the fate of eternal destruction. They are infatuated with the love of money to the point of loosing their own soul.
Fellow Christian, let me warn you: “The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.” (1 Timothy 6:10) The picture is that they have taken the knife of greed and pierced their own heart. It is a self inflicted wound.
Stop minimizing this sober warning! No longer make excuses for your greed. Be honest with yourself if your love for money is choking your love for Jesus. If you are struggling in your spiritual life it may be that you are serving the god of money. Your soul is double minded and tormented.
I fully concur that it is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. When you seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, He promises to become your Faithful Provider. But… you cannot love God and money at the same time. The love of money will blur your vision, harden your heart, dampen your fire and interrupt your fellowship with God. I beg you to put Jesus first. Seek Him above all else. Unleash the Kingdom resources God has entrusted to you.
Which of the seven churches in Revelation are you attending? My desire is to flee from Laodicia and abide in Philadelphia! I want to bask in the love of Jesus and run through open doors for His gory. I want to burn hot for Him and not have my fire extinguished by my own greed. Like many, I have had that noose around my neck. I have spent time gasping for spiritual life because of my own pitiful greed.
Let me be candid, today’s Western Church needs to repent from the love of money. Revival will forever tarry when the true god we worship are the dollar bills we are holding in our hands or hoarding in our bank accounts. It’s time to lay up treasures in heaven and invest in eternity. It’s time to repent from greed and return to God with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our mind.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
The Noose of Greed: 1 Timothy 6:9-10