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Monday: When Wealth Becomes Worthless — 17 Comments

  1. The love of money is the root of all evil and when we put money above service to God and our neighbours we miss the mark. Look at the TV stars and the very rich - they have lots of money yet they are very unhappy, depressed, suicidal and hopeless. There is a place for money, it is a requirement but if we are obedient to God - returning a faithful tithe and offering, helping the needy, etc. we will be blessed, contented and at peace. A man's life consist not in the abundance of what he have.

  2. Could someone explain to me why Nabal's answer, though disgenerous, should garner a death warrant from David? David's request sounds a little like extortion, to me, unless there was prior agreement w/Nabal concerning the care of Nabal's livestock and their caretakers.

    • Dorothy, in my view there are two problems concerning the interaction between David and Nabal. Both men were obvious sinners with big problems. While David was no saint in a literal sense he nevertheless had a mind toward God (1 Sam 13:14) which seems to be a lot more than what Nabal had. Nabal was just a very selfish, nasty man bent on doing what he wanted whether God gave His approval or not (1 Sam 25:17).

      If I was to judge what David did I would condemn the action based on Jesus' reaction to the rejection of Him by a Samaritan village (Lk 9:54-55) along with God's direct command against vengeance (Lev 19:18; Rom 12:19-21). By David's own testimony the Lord stopped David from doing what he intended (1 Sam 25:32-34) and "then it came about, after about ten days, that the LORD struck Nabal, and he died" (1 Sam. 25:38 NKJV).

      I think it is also possible to conclude that God "moved David" (2 Sam 24:1 cf. 1 Chron 21:1) to do what he did as a last test of Nabal although I do not believe God ever needs to test anybody since He numbers the hairs of our head and knows the end from the beginning.

      That ten days could either have been a delay in the sentence of termination just as it happened to Jerusalem during the first century or it could have been a time of consultation to consider what to do with Nabal. Under any circumstance I think it is obvious that in the end Nabal was considered as having past his time of probation as one who committed the unpardonable sin just as Belshazzar did in Babylon (Dan. 5).

    • Dorothy, David had provided a valuable service to Nabal worth far more than the food he requested. Furthermore, at times of feasting, it was customary to be generous to those in need, and David's request would have been appropriate even without the service he and his men performed.

      The Bible records that Nabal "was churlish and evil in his doings," (1 Sam 25:3) indicating that his habitual actions were out of harmony with the customs of his society as well as the law of God.

      While David's request was totally reasonable in the society, he was wrong in seeking to avenge the wrong done to him. He acknowledged this when Abigail gently brought it to his attention.

      • The comment about the society at that time is important. Hindsight is 20/20. David ask God for many things that he realized were needed because of flaws in his character, such as.... "put Your law in my heart..." and many others in Psalms....why? "That I may sin no more". We could defend David's character by remembering the number of opportunities he had to kill Saul who was seeking to kill him. Our perspective is far removed from his. Matt 6:21 is more important as I see it. Jesus is not focusing on wealth as much as where our desires and interest are. Verse 24 and 33, should have been included with verse 21. All talk about a heavenly destiny. Where our focus should be, rather than like Esau, we are willing to trade our heavenly home for untold wealth here and now. That is utter blindness. James 5:1-3 seem to be borrowing from Matt 6:19 however Jesus is talking about obtaining and James is talking about the "miseries" for those that already have. God gives wealth to some such as Solomon but He expects it to be used in the way that He chooses.

      • This had always bothered me as well.
        The way of Jesus is to turn the other cheek--not to seek vengeance and try to justify it by pointing to the character of the one you visit justice upon.

        Thanks for these explanations.

  3. ....If your neighbor has a million dollars in the bank, a large home with a mortgage and a new Mercedes bought on credit, and he suddenly lost the million dollars for some reason, what would his net worth be? If you lived down the road and owned two acres of land with a clear title, a 35 foot travel trailer and an old pickup truck, and the banks closed or money suddenly became worthless, who would be in the better position?
    You can be sure the bank has paperwork showing he does not own the home or the new car so what would they be worth to your neighbor?“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.(Matthew 6:19-21 ESv)

  4. Hi Dorothy
    Here's the answer to your question:

    "While David and his men were in the wilderness of Paran, they protected from the depredations of marauders the flocks and herds of a wealthy man named Nabal, who had vast possessions in that region. Nabal was a descendant of Caleb, but his character was churlish and niggardly.{PP 664.4}
    It was the time of sheepshearing, a season of hospitality. David and his men were in sore need of provisions; and in accordance with the custom of the times, the son of Jesse sent ten young men to Nabal, bidding them greet him in their master’s name; and he added: “Thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there aught missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. [Not Mount Carmel, but a place in the territory of Judah, near the hill town of Maon.] Ask thy young men, and they will show thee. Wherefore let the young men find favor in thine eyes; for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.” {PP 664.5}
    David and his men had been like a wall of protection to the shepherds and flocks of Nabal; and now this rich man was asked to furnish from his abundance some relief to the necessities of those who had done him such valuable service. David and his men might have helped themselves from the flocks and herds, but they did not. They behaved themselves in an honest way. Their kindness, however, was lost upon Nabal. The answer he returned to David was indicative of his character: “Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? There be many servants nowadays that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread, any my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?”{PP 665.1}"

    • But again, that Nabal was bad doesn't mean that David had the right to kill him for being unfair or unkind.
      The way of Jesus is to do good without expecting anything in return.

      Anyway, God stayed David's hand. In this way we can say that God has averted disaster many times in our own lives.
      I think also God has prevented me from causing disaster as well!

  5. The problem is not with being wealthy, the problem is with loving money & things more than loving God and our fellow man. Those things that we value will consume our passion, heart, mind and desires in seeking after for those things. As is brought out in the lesson money cannot buy us peace, love and joy. There are some rich and famous people that have money and fame but do not have the gifts that only come from Jesus. There nothing wrong with having things, but when we allow things to have control of us that is the problem. Matthew. 6:33 says seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. When God has first place in our hearts he can then trust us with money to bring Glory to God and be a blessing to others.

  6. everyone will be required to render up his entrusted gifts. in the day of the final jugdegement men's hoarded wealth will be worthless to them. they have nothing they can call their own. those who spend their lives in laying up worldly treasure show less wisdom, less thought and care for their eternal well being, than did the unjust steward for his earthly support...COL PP372

  7. We should pray to God such that our earthly possessions do not control us, but rather we to use them purposively to spread the good news in the world.

    • I agree. I think that in the human mind it is so hard for us to grasp the power and influence of money. It doesn't seem that bad or harmful. It reminds me of alcohol or sex. In these modern times, society tells us that both are controllable and since they are fun we ought to enjoy them to the fullest degree. However, God put parameters on them because he knows the true power and influence these two things can have over a fallen creation. It's the Serpent's lie from the Garden manifested again. We truly know the difference between good and evil. Eve fully understood what that meant after she experienced it.

      The same can be said about money. It can be hard to understand its total potential without experiencing it, but that's why God gave us His word. There are His warnings and then the testimonies of others that are there to help us. As fallen beings, we no longer are capable of fully understanding financial wealth without a high risk of falling subject to it. We have to trust God to guide us with our money like a baby trusts his/her parents to be there when he/she is learning to walk. Because having to experience everything in order to choose to trust God is overrated. How many have lost their salvation because they fall for the lie that dates back to the Garden?

  8. As we pray to God to give us wealth, we should also tell Him to show us how to use our wealth wisely for the sake of His glory.
    Greed, Pride, desire and selfishness are evil and we should avoid at all cost.Lets be generous with the little that God has given us.

  9. It is instructive to note that Solomon never asked God to give him wealth.Instead he asked for wisdom and knowledge to lead Gods people-2Chron 1:10-11.
    In parallel with Solomon's request we should remember that we are also stewards of God in our various capacities and should ask for wisdom and knowledge to take care of the same to God's glory.


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