Last time, we read the author of Hebrews’ warning about the significant consequence to sexual impurity in a believer’s life. Unfortunately, that is not the only trap we must be aware of…there is something else that loudly clamors for our attention:
Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have
If the author stopped right there, we could nod our heads in agreement and talk about all the times we won and lost in our struggle with the priority of money. The consumerism of our modern culture puts an especially tough spin on this topic. We are constantly barraged with the mantras “You need this in your life.” and “You deserve to have that.” Advertisers strategically manipulate our emotions to convince us that whatever someone else has, or whatever new thing comes along, we should have it in our hands.
However, the author of Hebrews didn’t stop with just these two statements. Instead, he did as he has throughout the entire letter – he referred us back to the Old Testament, providing a map to the solution of our not-so-modern problem:
Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said,
“I will never leave you or abandon you.”
Therefore, we may boldly say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”
Although his readers would have understood these Old Testament references, we need to step back and grab some context so we can fully understand his lesson:
The first quote is from Deuteronomy 31:6, where Moses is giving God’s marching orders to the Israelites as they get ready to take over the Promised Land. They didn’t need to worry about having “enough” possessions as they went to the Promised Land, because they had God and He would take care of them. This reassurance, I will never leave you or abandon you, is given to those Israelites who are going to enter “God’s rest”. These are the ones that are going to partner with God to establish the future country of Israel.
The second quote comes from Psalm 118:6 and maintains the same idea. Just like with the Deuteronomy reference, the author points to the psalm to show that we can confidently trust the Lord to come to our aid. As the original recipients of Hebrews were Jewish Christians, they would have recognized the context of the first quote, and they would have known that Psalm 118 deals entirely with God coming to rescue and protect His own people when the entire world is against them.
However, when we love money, we are distracted from the reality of God providing. We don’t trust Him with our future. Our security becomes dictated by the size of the bank account and reserves. Don’t get me wrong, saving money is extremely important, and God even tells us many times in Scripture that saving money for future use is a wise activity. But it matters where we are getting our security from.
A personal example: as our family finances have changed over the years, my wife and I sometimes catch ourselves worrying about how much is in the savings account. We save for a while, make a big purchase, and then have to catch our breath when we look at the “little” remainder left. However, one of us is always quick to remind the other that God has always provided, even when the savings was much, much smaller than the “little” we are currently fretting over.
We all need regular reminders that our security in this life is not in the size of our bank account, but in the One who has entrusted us with the money in our account.
Perhaps we should refer back to Psalm 118 on a regular basis.