Scripture: Jeremiah 6:1-15
“From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all frauds. They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:13-14, NLT).
The personal sin of greed brought about the destruction of Judah. God’s law provided for the poor by leaving produce behind at harvest (Leviticus 19:9-10). Greed brought about more efficient and profitable harvests for landholders. The welfare of the poor and orphans was denied (Jeremiah 5:28). In a stunning example of “reaping what you sow,” the prophet proclaims that the coming destruction by the Babylonians would be “as when a harvester checks each vine a second time to pick the grapes that were missed” (v.9). Neither old, young, male, nor female would escape (v.11). Greed opposes God’s law; one cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24). Greed drowns out the warning of its ensuing peril (v.10). When God’s law of love is scorned for personal gain, true wisdom is unknown. Fraudulent religious systems created to lighten the guilt of greed offer no remedy nor direction for the wages of sin.
I need to be on my guard against every kind of greed (Luke 12:15). Since greed is the selfish desire to have more than is needed, greed is not just the domain of the wealthy. Greed can manifest as fearing not having enough for the future. Greed can be holding tightly to what I have and showing no compassion to those in need (1 John 3:17). Greed is the idolatry of serving one’s desires and fears rather than God who supplies all my needs (Philippians 4:19).
Father, thank you for supplying all my needs. Thank you for your generous grace and patience with me. Purge me of my greed. Show me how to trust you more and serve you more fully. Fill me with truth and banish fraudulent ideas that obscure how you would have me live. In Jesus’ name, Amen.