Help, I’m Drowning!

3:04 pm idolatry, materialism

If you were drowning, would you want someone to help you?  If you were drowning in the lusts of the flesh, would you want someone to rescue you?  In many ways, we place greater value on our physical lives than we do our souls.  In I Tim. 6:9-10, Paul writes, “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.”
The Peril
Paul identifies a group of people who are marked by their desire for riches.  Three nouns indicate what they fall into:  temptation (enticement to sin); snare (trap of the devil who desires to bring us to condemnation before God); and lusts (many foolish and hurtful lusts (strong desire for what God forbids).  There are two words modifying lusts:  foolish (morally unwise) and hurtful (injurious and so unprofitable).  Peter states that fleshly lusts war against the soul (I Pet. 2:11).
The Penalty
Paul affirms that these lusts “drown men in destruction and perdition.”  The word destruction comes from the Greek word, olethros, which is always translated destruction and indicates the ruin of the whole being both physical and spiritual.  The word indicates the scope of the ruin:  present and eternal.  The word perdition comes from the Greek word apoleia, which means brought to ruin, loss of well-being, final and irrevocable ruin or condemnation by God.  The design of the temptation by Satan is realized–a person is condemned eternally by God.  The word drown literally means to plunge to one’s death in water or some other liquid.  Here, it is used figuratively of lusts which overwhelm and overcome the soul causing spiritual death.
The Proverb
In I Tim. 6:10, Paul states, “For the love of money is the root of all evil….”  This is a proverb which states a most emphatic truth.  The phrase, love of money, is from the Greek word philarguria which indicates a person who places his/her heart on possessing money.  Synonyms would be:  covetous, greed, and avarice.  This misplaced love would supplant love for God which must be supreme (Matt. 22:36-39).  Jesus said that no man can serve two masters (Matt. 6:24).  The god of mammon is a false god.  The love of money becomes a radical source of all types of evil.  What would people do for money?  Some would kill, steal, defraud, lie, cheat, prostitute themselves, destroy others, commit injustice (bribery), start wars, rob God, corrupt their own hearts with stinginess, and many other sins.  The root is the means of supply and support for a tree.  The love of money is the essential element involved in many types of sin.  To err is to transgress the faith (the Word of God, the gospel).  Those who love money pierce themselves through with many sorrows.  These are impaled by idolatry.  The heartache is self-inflicted.  The results are:  mental distress, grief, sorrow, guilt, and estrangement from God.  Judas Iscariot is a good example.  Judas was a thief (John 12:6).  He betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.  In doing so, he sold his soul to the devil.  Self-destruction followed the indulgence of this lust of the flesh.
True Prosperity
Paul provides the remedy in I Tim. 6:6, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”  Godliness is piety towards God involving both a love for God and a desire to please God in all things.  Contentment involves being satisfied with God’s sufficiency for our lives.  It involves being satisfied with God’s grace.  Contentment provides the contrast to covetousness and establishes a better way to live.  The result is great gain.  The true riches of life are spiritual not material (Matt. 6:19-20).

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