TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, February 25, 2019:
Excessive or extreme desire for wealth and possessions; covetousness.
Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes and perverted justice.
I Samuel 8: 1, 3.
His watchmen are blind, they are ignorant, and they are all dumb dogs. Yes they are greedy dogs which never have enough.
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.
II Peter 2:1,3.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
How many times have you watched children who are being offered a cookie on a plate of many cookies? They will always look the plate over and pick the largest one. If they think no one is looking they will take two and possibly three. You may say that this is just what children do but the real facts are is that the adults do the same thing and the children watch. Children copy what they see and hear others say and do.
All of us see greed surrounding us. Friends and even family members are driven by greed. They always want more “things” and are never happy with what they have. Politicians, government leaders, work place owners, supervisors on down to the workers are driven by wanting more money and more things. They are never satisfied with what they have. This is greed.
The “Me” generation today is known to go and apply for a job and the first question is: “What will be my benefits --- health insurance, vacation time, sick days, holidays etc.? When do they ask what the job qualifications are and what will be my responsibility?
Three of the verses we have put above give us three illustrations about how greed affected people in biblical times. The first verse deals with Samuel’s two sons who had allowed greed to corrupt their ability to judge fairly and righteously.
The second verse deals with Israel and how their leaders had become blind to their own sinfulness. They lost their way acting like greedy dogs seeking their own gain.
The third verse deals with false prophets in the early church. False prophets continue to be very prevalent in our world today.
Samuel was about 60 years old when he appointed his two sons as judges. There is no reference to be found in the scriptures that Samuel asked God for wisdom and guidance on whom to appoint. Although Samuel was a Godly man, his sons allowed greed to corrupt them and they began to accept bribes and pervert justice. Soon it was apparent that they were spiritually not ready for the responsibility. Greed happens in the best of families.
In the second verse the watchmen were the leaders of the day and their spiritual leadership was corrupted by greed. Isaiah called them dumb dogs that could not bark, which means they did not preach the truth or warn the children of Israel about the false doctrine. Most false teaching is based in greed and appeals to our sinful nature’s desire for riches and pleasures of this world. Even preachers can succumb to greed.
These false teachers that Peter referred to took their eyes off the message of the cross and preached what people wanted to hear distorting all that Jesus is and all that Jesus taught. They were only interested in making money rather than teaching truth. These false teachers were very deceptive and spoke appealing and seductive thoughts, just as false teachers do today. They are motivated by greed.
These examples have been given to us as a reminder to stay true to the biblical message we know is truth and not let greed entice us to follow the teaching of false teachers that are all around us.
Our memory verse today is found in Psalms 32:8.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye.
Help me and my family to keep our eyes open to the message of the cross and not to be enticed by the greedy temptations of the world. Keep us alert to false teachers that want to lead us away from You. Help us to keep our greedy desires in check and put our total trust in You to supply our every need.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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