The Consequence of Being Materialistic
Psalms 37:14-15 says, The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
Psalms chapter 37 emphasizes the contrast between the end result for those that seek after the things of this life and those that trust in Christ. First John chapter 2:15-17 says, love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
It is not that seeking after the things of this life are wrong things such as money, power, fame, possessions, relationships, but seeking after them above seeking after Gods will is evil. The problem with humanity is the sinfulness of man. If man desires something too strongly then he will in his selfishness take advantage of others, harms others, harm God, and harm himself to attempt to get what he desires.
This is what these verses in Psalms 37 are talking about. Most often it is those that are poor and needy and those who are of upright conversation that are taken advantage of. If someone has more power or possessions or resources than you then it is easier for them to take from you by theft, by dishonest means, by legal means even, to somehow use your hurt to their benefit. In addition someone who lives by faith in Christ will do honestly, will attempt to be a man of their word, will be forgiving and patient to others, and be generous to those in need. Therefore a person with these qualities is often an easy target for those who are motivated by their strong selfish desires.
A great deal of the wrong that is done to men in this world is a result of those whom seek after power and possessions by any means they can: taking advantage of the poor and advantage of the Christian. Such people use violence, deception, and slander to obtain their wealth and their power and their prosperity.
This is where the principle of sowing and reaping should come into mind. Psalms 37:15 says, Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. Jesus said in Matthew 26:52, Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
The reason that the principle of sowing and reaping is true is because there is a Holy God. Because God is holy God is righteous. Some of the words used for the righteousness of God in the Old Testament mean justice. There will be justice at the judgment because God is the final judge. And God is righteous.
Of course in understanding the principle of sowing and reaping it helps to also understand human nature. For the most part Human beings do not treat others better than they are treated. This is human nature. You will find very few people in this world that will apply the teachings of Christ: to love their enemies, pray for their enemies, and turn the other cheek. Therefore if you live by the philosophy of taking advantage of the poor and needy and slaying such as be of upright conversation you can be sure that you will reap what you sow.
This is why Psalms 37:15 says, Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. This truth should be a great comfort to the believer in Jesus. And it should help keep the child of God from doing as the wicked do.
Psalms 37:16 says, A little that righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. Another way of saying this is in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews chapter 13:5 which says, Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
The lost people of this world put their effort into covetousness. One of the Ten Commandments is, thou shalt not covet. The love of money is the root of all evil. It is not just rich people that are covetous. You can be poor and be materialistic. You can be poor and love much just as much and as selfishly as some rich people do.
What a blessing it is to be thankful for what God has provided for me. By doing so and by being content in my circumstances whether I abase or abound because Godliness with contentment is great gain I am free to use my energy and efforts, abilities, resources, and free time, to seek after the will of God in life.
It is much better to seek after the will of God and to do the will of God than to be a covetous person who spends all his efforts in life seeking after money, and power, and material things because just as it says in the book of First John 1:17, And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
The will of God is the work of God. Jesus said in John 6:29, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Seek after the things God wants you to seek after and use them for his glory instead of seeking after the things of this life for your own selfish reasons. Psalms 37:16 says, A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. How many in this world have been lured away from the will of God because of the love of riches.
If you cannot obtain the things that you are striving to obtain through honest means then perhaps it is not Gods will for you to obtain those things.
The next several verses in Psalms 37 list some of the consequence for those who obtain what they obtain in this life. The consequences both for those that trust in Christ are listed and the consequences for those that use selfish and dishonest means are also given.
Psalms 37:17 says, For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD uphold the righteous. Jesus said in Luke 8:18, Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
If youre arms are broken then you cannot use them. Without arms you cannot work. This is the truth being taught here. The wicked people of this world even though they might increase in power and possessions for a time, because they are not trusting Jesus and living for Christ they are not accomplishing any work of lasting or eternal value. They have broken their own arms by rejecting the truth and by doing what they do using dishonest and violent and manipulative means.
There is no worse consequence than to live your life and accomplish nothing of value. Notice what Jesus said in Luke 8:18, Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
The most important work in this world is the work of faith. In other words being part of the spread of the truth of the Bible. Those who lie and slander, cheat and steal, murder, and use every manipulative and dishonest means possible to gain what they gain be it money or power or reputation or position the truth is they are accomplishing nothing with their lives nothing except storing up judgment for the day of judgment.
What does matter is how you respond to the truth of Gods Word when you hear that truth. This is the reason Psalms 37:18 says, The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever. The world and the lusts of the world pass away but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. And this is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent, Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God who died for the sins of the world and rose again the 3rd day.
I should not be lured away from following after Christ because of the prosperity of the wicked. They acquire their riches and power through wicked means. I know they shall wither as the green herb. And I know that the LORD knoweth the days of the upright. My inheritance shall be forever because I am a joint heir with Christ the king of kings. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked because he that is faithful in little is faithful in much.
Depart from evil and do good. Turn from your sins and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation.
Copyright; 2012 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved