In America, they have had for many years now what they call the “American Dream,” hard work, perseverance, and determination, and one could achieve almost anything. Of course, they still tout this saying, but forget to include massive debt for the entirety of your life, long hours with little hope of advancement, and laws that make the six hundred or so that the pharisees laid upon the children of Israel look pleasant.
Do you know what happens to every person that achieves the “American Dream?” They all die.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) Those who have fought long and hard, struggled, scrimped, and saved here in this life deserve all they have worked for, and I believe that is one of the reasons the Lord allows it, they are loved, and for the short life they live, they are allowed to have their heart’s desires, because for all of eternity they will have nothing.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with money, 1 Timothy 6:10 is probably the most misquoted verse in all of the Scriptures, the first four words are left out almost continuously, “For 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.” “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:25) Why? Why not call these as well, why not choose them as well? Because the love of money brings with it three of the things that the Lord hates the most, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)
It is inevitable, money buys things, materialistic things, it brings pleasures, it enables the pleasures of sin, (Heb. 11:25) the things of man that Satan savors. (Matt. 16:23) Money itself is neither evil or good, it is completely useless in a society where nothing is for sale, at best it can be used as any other piece of paper could, or melted down and transformed into something useful. Money has an agreed value, it once was backed by gold, another basically useless item, the same as silver, diamonds, emeralds, and all other precious stones. Precious only in the fact, we are told, that there is less of them than there is other materials on the planet. If the ground was made of rubies, and sand was scarce, guess what man would consider valuable.
The less there is of something, for some reason, men put a higher value on it. We will walk on streets of gold, look again in Revelation 21:18-21, see what our new, forever home is made of, and wonder, why would the Lord make us such a place and not make it from “average” or easily recognizable and, so called, normal materials. I have no answer for you here, maybe just because they are shiny and pretty, but that does not make them valuable to the Lord, they are as easily made by Him as all the planets or as a soul, but man finds value in them.
People will kill people for these items, they will do things that are unthinkable for those shiny rocks and pieces of paper, not only because of what they can be exchanged for, goods and services, but just to have them. The richest of these men understand full well that the most valuable asset they can purchase is people, power over people. But they do not realize the truth, “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.” (Prov. 11:4) Tell me, what is more valuable in a famine, an ounce of gold, or a bag of wheat.
It is amazing how our value structure is modified by circumstances, how a man will give all he has for a boat in the middle of the ocean, how medicine is the most valuable commodity to a dying man, how men will lose their souls to shiny rocks and pieces of paper with a number on it. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
I wonder about Satan in that verse, all of the glory of heaven at his disposal, the most intelligent and perhaps the most beautiful of God’s creation, giving it all up, and for what, not even he will ever rule the earth completely. Sometimes I feel sad for the Lord at these times, and for the angels who are in heaven, for before the fall of Lucifer, he was their friend, it had to be difficult to watch their friend go down the path he did.
The prize is Jesus, nothing on this earth, nothing in all of creation, not even heaven itself can compare to Him, when we have Him, we have everything.