Epistle to the Hebrews (13:5-6)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. So we can say with confidence, The Lord is my helper,so I will have no fear.What can mere people do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

Our author now tackles another theme which many Christians struggle with. Be careful of avarice. Cupidity makes you prideful and faithless. When you’re avid of money, your eyes are not on the divine Provider but on yourself. Contentment is a cure to cupidity. It helps you enjoy what you have and not covet what you have not. Paul says:

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Tim 6:6-10

The love of money, says Paul, is the root of all kinds of evil. Money has caused people to become selfish, to murder, steal, fall into corruption and vices. Jesus said we cannot serve 2 masters in Luke 16:13. The greed for wealth is idolatry. It’s worshiping Mamon, the god of money.

The Amplified bible renders this verse in Hebrews 13 as such:

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Adam Clarke said about this verse:

The words are peculiarly emphatic: Ου μη σε ανω, ουδ’ ου μη σε εγκαταλιπω. There are no less than five negatives in this short sentence, and these connected with two verbs and one pronoun twice repeated. To give a literal translation is scarcely possible; it would run in this way: “No, I will not leave thee; no, neither will I not utterly forsake thee.” Those who understand the genius of the Greek language, and look at the manner in which these negatives are placed in the sentence, will perceive at once how much the meaning is strengthened by them, and to what an emphatic and energetic affirmative they amountNo, I will never leave thee; not I: I will never, never cast thee off.”

You might not be wealthy but if your attitude is to covet and crave for possessions, you’re already sinning. Being satisfied with what God has given you honors Him. God will never forsake us. God will test our faith by allowing us go through deserts but never will He leave His saints dying when they cry to Him. God feeds the birds and will care for those who trusts Him. God will not fail us but will be faithful.

Jesus knew that men struggle with managing their possessions. So He wisely said:

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”   Mat 6:19

Do not worry Jesus said. This is a teaching most Christians heard in a sermon. Worrying is synonymous to faithlessness. You doubt God’s abilities when you worry. Jesus knows the heart of man and He reassured us through these words:

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Mat 6:31

Turn your eyes off the worldly treasures for they are temporary and you’ll be being satisfied with what you have. If your treasure is your money, your heart will be there. When you lose what you have, your heart also starts to fail and worry. Basically, if you want to be freed from the sin of cupidity you have to be content with what you have. And how to be content with what you have? It is by turning your eyes on heavenly things. Have faith. It is tough to keep our eyes on God the Father when there’s turmoil around us.

Many like amassing treasures but few of us enjoy giving. But giving really helps in freeing ourselves from selfishness and cupidity. I sometimes struggle in giving because of my personal needs. Paul said: “And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

Do you realise who said He will not abandon you?  It’s when we do not know who God is that we refuse to live by faith. Relax dear readers. God will rescue you and no man can oppose His will. If you have put your hope in God, He is in control. If God manages your finances and what you earn, do not fear. By the way, is not it Him who has given you health to acquire wealth? Surrender yourself. Do not rely on what you have for in a twinkle of an eye you can lose all. What good is it to have a huge wealth but you’re unable to enjoy it? But it is a gift of God to be able to enjoy what you toiled for. To accept once lot in life and happily enjoy what you have is a blessing from God.

Ecclesiastes tells us:  “Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.” Ecc 5:18-20

It is not because we possess more that we will be more happy. This is the wisdom the teacher in Ecclesiastes wants to tell us. But the grace of being able to enjoy what you possess is a blessing.  I personally know a very rich man who was in constant conflict with his wife and ended up selling all his possessions and got divorced. He is still cleaving to his wealth and fears to spend. What a miserable man!

Proverbs 17:1 tells us: “Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.”

I would prefer love and peace amidst poverty in my home than constant conflict amidst overflowing wealth. To be satisfied with what you have and enjoy your wealth is not a blessing given to every man. So do not compare your wealth with someone else. Be rather thankful that you can enjoy your wealth. Our God is a rich God. Everything belongs to Him. He likes when we put our faith in Him instead of borrowing to fill up holes. Let us reconsider our attitude towards money. Let us be faithful stewards and bless others with our wealth.

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Posted September 9, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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