The Deceitfulness of Riches 3: THE FALSE CLAIMS AND DECEPTIVE PROMISES OF MONEY
In Ecclesiastes 10:19 the preacher says:
“A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.”
Some other versions render the last phrase as follows:
“…but money is the answer for everything” NIV
“… and money gives everything” LB
“… and money answers everything”. RSV
“… and money is the answer to everything” NASB
What is the scope of the usefulness of money? Is money the answer to everything? What is the scope of the “everything” several versions are referring to above?
Specifically, is money the answer to all the problems of a man’s life? Does money guarantee its owner the cure for every sickness and disease? Certainly not. Otherwise, no world-famous rich monarch would ever have died of sickness. But many have and some still do. Is money the solution for every security problem? Certainly not. In actual reality, the rich are targeted more often by robbers and assassins, than the poor. Does money eliminate every form of accident from a person’s life? No, far from it. Accidents claim the limbs, lives and property of all, irrespective of financial status. Does money exempt a person from dying? Is there an amount of money a person has that could take away the fear of death from his or her heart? Not at all. All the money in this world cannot extend the life of one desperate soul for an extra day after death has actually called. Does money offer any effective solution to demonic oppression and spiritual bondage? Can money deliver a person from the power of sin, and transform him or her to a saint before God? Does money guarantee eternity in heaven for anyone? The answer to all these questions is a capital NO. Money has no answer to any spiritual problem.
Money is certainly not the answer to literally everything. In fact, what money has the ability to answer is very limited, and it is restricted in its effect to some of the cares of this present life only.
So, what then is the preacher talking about? Let us start by looking a little more closely at the King James version. You will notice that the last word in that verse (Eccl. 10:19); the word “thing” is in italics. The implication is that the original text in the Greek is without the word “thing.” That is, it literally reads as follows.
“but money answereth all”
This has removed the impression of generalization in the scope of what money answers, a generalization that the introduction of the word “thing” seems to convey. Now, it is clear that the matter raised previously in the same verse is “all” that the Preacher is referring to in the last phrase. The translators only to achieve a complete sentence in English helpfully added the word “thing.” That is, a feast along with the laughter it generates, as well as wine together with the merriment it stimulates; everything is set up by money. This must be the “everything” which other versions are referring to as well. It is a grave violation of the standard principles of Biblical interpretation for anyone to stretch the meaning of that last phrase of Eccl. 10:9 beyond the context of its verse, and beyond the context of its chapter, and beyond the context of its book, and even beyond the context of the Bible. Such grave misinterpretation is an offence to God’s word.
But mammon, the spirit controlling money, itself silently claims that it can answer all things. And many unsuspecting people have become faithful believers in its false claims. Hereunder are some of its false assertions that have lured away many hearts into hell and are still luring more. Which of them has your heart already taken in? Please, check along.
Money, assets, riches or wealth claim(s) to guarantee security from the common risk of life and to shield the dependent from the foreseeable inconveniences human beings experience. Wealth claims that with enough money, you can be shielded from disgrace, embarrassment, insult, and scorn. It purports to shield us from bodily harm, pain, discomfort, exploitation or oppression. Mammon quietly suggests that with enough money you are secured from the scourge of poverty. You are then insulated from the fear of lack, failure in life, loneliness, boredom, and insignificance.
Riches claim to guarantee happiness, peace, and joy. But Eccl. 10: 19 says that happiness and merriment which money brings is arranged. It is mechanical and superficial. It is not of the heart and lacks depth. It does not last beyond the duration of the party, nor endures beyond the time of wine. As the party ends and the wine finishes so the gladness ceases. If you need more, you have to arrange again. And between one party and the next, you only have a hangover to cope with.
Money claims that with it around, you need not fear any evil. It contends to be a more handy and pragmatic solution to human problems than God who is invisible. Money silently assures hearts of men that it is an adequate and sufficient answer to everything foreseeable or unforeseeable, such as court cases, war, famine, sickness and disease, accidents, customary responsibilities of life, assault or robbery, to name a few.
Mammon insists that even if we must fear God to prepare for eternity, we must still respect money in order to survive in this life. Mammon seeks to convince us that certain things that are necessary for us on earth must require money to accomplish. Even some preachers have come to believe that without money, it is impossible for God to do His work on earth. We are beginning to get the impression that money has the power to hold even God to ransom. Is the Creator and Sovereign Ruler now at the mercy of a concept of exchange on the earth? No. God has not changed. Rather, we are the ones who are changing. We are quietly trusting more and more in money, but less and less in God.
Stop right here to assess your own heart. Do you believe in God or in earthly riches? Or do you choose to believe in both? Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mt. 6:24). It simply does not work out. It never has, and never will.
All the above claims, which our adversary, the devil has sponsored to accompany money or riches on earth are totally false. God is the only secure source of dependable help for our lives in every situation. As it is written:
“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” James 1:16-17
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”…Psalm 46:1-7
He is the only sure guarantee a person may have for earthly sustenance and for eternal salvation. He needs no argumentation. He is adequate as our Keeper, and neither slumbers nor sleeps (Ps. 121). Any life that does not rely on God for his or her defence, any other security arrangement he or she makes is in vain. As it is written:
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Ps 127:1 The enemy’s strategy is simply to draw our hearts away from God in order to rob us of our genuine source of defence. He is seeking to isolate us into the empty security of earthly riches in order to mock us, and then to steal, to kill and to destroy our souls. May your own soul not be captured through the temptation of mammon, in Jesus’ Name!
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