Man quests for more of the world. Of course, he is chasing after the wind. He competes with moth and rust. His life ends at the precise asset balance as it began. Wisdom eludes the lover of the world, who knows nothing of the love of God.
While losing his own soul, the accumulator steals from his neighbor. He manipulates the law, in order to secure his neighbor’s possessions. He robs the widow and the orphan to grasp at more pleasure for himself. He assures himself that he has earned this wealth by his hard labor. His new barns are bursting. He pretends to be happy because, in truth, God has not empowered the accumulator to enjoy his increase. His plight worsens, as he continues to strive with God and man, in vain pursuit of impossible satisfaction. He is learning hell.
Christianity is often a course of suffering loss. Noah lost his son, Ham, to sexual deviance. David lost his son to ambition. Aaron lost his sons. Eli lost his sons. Jephthah lost his daughter to a foolish vow. Job lost his children and possessions to providence. Hosea lost his wife, as did Lot. Zachariah and Elizabeth lost their son to a corrupt politician.
Some value money over family. David’s wealth did not serve his family well, and it worsened for Solomon. The rich young ruler opted out of the family of God, for money and possessions, as did Judas Iscariot. The rich fool misjudged time and possessions. The rich man missed the purpose of having wealth, and as a result, Lazarus suffered until glory was granted to him.
Money and possessions is a common test for God’s people. The man of the world only tests to find better ways for more of the world. God tests for believers to see their status in Christ. Treasure and the heart are intimately linked. He who has been given much has much work to do, in managing what God has entrusted to him as a stewardship.
God is the Creator of all things, He owns all things. This is an “all” without exception. God is also the sovereign Lord over all. He allocates resources according to His own will and decree. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Let us join with the suffering saint in saying, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
For some, gain and wealth is a merciless curse. The hardened heart is woefully unaware of this frown from heaven. “Let goods and kindred go,” is not a lyrical truth from the lips of him who surrenders nothing. The accumulator becomes the possessor, hence, the defender of what he believes is his own possession. He fences in his gated castle, which houses his locked vault, with its impregnable security system. Can this man deny providence’s privileged access? Like Peter, a possession of God, wealth takes flight from the jail of its imprisonment.
Happy is the man who has found his greatest asset to be the Giver of every good and perfect gift. The happy man prays, “Give us this day our daily bread,” and he is content with what he has, today, because the promise of providence is his prized possession. He has learned contentment through his gains and losses. His eye for what is truly valuable has sharpened. Truth is his treasure. Wisdom to discern the eternal from the temporal is the gift of God.
Christian, how are you living in your brief stay upon the earth? Have you discerned true value? Peace and joy, in the midst of suffering losses of the world, are priceless. Your anger when loss visits you is telling. Fear not, God is still at work preparing your eternal gain at the expense of your temporal losses. Brother, you are no loser. You are the possession of Him who possesses all. It was you who was lost, but now you are found. Rejoice!
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 23, 2021