Wealth can be a good thing.  Let’s read Matthew 27:57-60, “When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.”  Joseph of Arimathaea, along with Nicodemus (John 19:38-40) retrieved the body of the Lord Jesus after His crucifixion and buried Him in a tomb that he owned.  This man was a disciple of the Lord.  The Lord used him and his wealth to fulfill His purposes, and thus fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah 53:9, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”

Wealth is not always a good thing, though.  In Matthew 19:16-22, we have the story of a rich young ruler who came to the Lord, desiring to have eternal life.  As the Lord explained to him the cost of discipleship, we read in Matthew 19:22, “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”  This was a wealthy man also, but he valued his riches more than Christ and the eternal life that we receive through faith in Him.  It is so easy to love riches more than we love the Lord.

A familiar verse to most of us in found in 1 Timothy 6:9-10, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 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.”  We are careful to notice that it is not ‘money’ that is the root of all evil, it is the ‘love of money’ that is.  It is the love of money that will draw us away from the Lord and err from the truth, bringing its own painful consequences.  It is that desire to be rich that is so destructive.  One translation puts verse 9 like this, “Those that ARE DETERMINED to be rich…”  Those who have that love of money will only bring sorrow upon themselves.  We should also point out that the proper translation says that the love of money is A ROOT of all evil.  No tree has just one root and evil has many roots that can lead us into sin.  Things such as lust and covetousness are also roots of all evil.

The handling of money is not something that we can just run away from.  We all need money in our society to survive.  HOW CAN WE HANDLE MONEY WITHOUT IT HANDLING US?  I’m impressed with the words of Solomon who was known for his great wisdom.  In Proverbs 30:8-9 he asks of the Lord, “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”  He realized the pitfalls of both wealth and poverty and asked the Lord to give him neither.

As believers on the Lord Jesus, it is vital that we learn to be content with what we have.  We read in 1 Timothy 6:6-8, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”  We need to learn to be content with what we have…the basic necessities.  Shouldn’t we do our best in our jobs so that we can earn a lot of money and enjoy life?  I don’t think we should.  We should always do our best to honor the Lord.  When the honor of the Lord is our motivation, He may see fit to promote us in our jobs and cause us to make more money.  We need to be faithful to use that money for the Lord’s purposes.  (209.2)