Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:9 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.

Those who are desiring to be rich. The word here for desiring is better translated as determining. Those who have set their mind upon this task and are ready and eager to get the job done regardless of the sacrifice that is to be made. This is the single-minded focus of those who are determining to be rich. Notice also the infinitive “to be rich” is in the present signifying the ongoing desire to be constantly rich.

Here is what happens to them. They are the ones who are falling into trials and snares and many foolish and harmful desires.

The adjectives are worthy of a brief note here. Foolish is the Greek anoetos. The idea of this word has the idea of “unintelligibleness,” “one who is unwise,” “foolish,” “misunderstood.” It is used elsewhere in the Scriptures, one of which is Galatians 3 when Paul says, “O foolish (anoetos) Galatians!

The second adjective is “harmful.” It is from the Greek blaberos. It is only used here in the NT and it means “that which is harmful” or “something causing an injury.”

It is these kinds of desires that are produced when one has set their mind on pursuing monetary wealth in this life. It is an all-consuming task.

Not only is it just a mere all-consuming work here on earth, but effects that are eternal are present. Notice again that it is Paul who says that these things (those determining to be rich) “plunge men.” This verb for “plunge” has the idea of “one who is cast into the very great deep waters.” It is the same verb used in Luke 5:7 when both boats were filled with fish that they “began to sink.” This is the idea here. These men who are consumed with being rich are sinking down into ruin and destruction.

It is no wonder that our society is presenting this as a prudent and as a wise dream. But those who set their heart upon being rich – regardless of whether they obtain riches or not in this life – usually forfeit their soul. May we be those who are wise stewards with the money that God has entrusted to us – for after all, it is His anyway. But may we be those who are faithful to the tasks God has given to us and may be never be consumed with this all-encompassing determination to be rich in this life.

1 Timothy 6:7 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either


your wifey ;-) said...

This passage is so sad, especially in the context of our modern culture. If you were to take a business class at most secular universities or listen to most secular business seminars, they would encourage one to "set their mind upon this task [of making money] and be ready and eager to get the job done regardless of the sacrafice that is to be made." They would encourage the entrepreneur to adopt a "single-minded focus" and to continually strive to achieve their maximum potential. But that is clearly not the way of the Lord, as affirmed by your excellent exegesis of this passage.

It even more heart-breaking to see this occuring in Christian circles. There is a great multitude flooding through the broad gate of the health & wealth prosperity gospel, when the narrow gate is REALLY where all the riches are at... the ruler of this world has blinded the hearts & minds of so many, even professing Christians.... its so sad.

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