I. EXAMPLES OF EVIL USES OF MONEY
A. BETRAYAL OF JESUS
Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, and said, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?” And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-15).
Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place . . . that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed Me.” (Matthew 27:3-10).
Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests, in order to betray Him to them. And they were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money . . . (Mark 14:10-11).
Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money (Luke 22:3-5).
This man [Judas Iscariot] acquired a field with the price of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out (Acts 1:18).
B. BROTHER SOLD INTO SLAVERY
Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they [Joseph’s brothers] pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver . . . (Genesis 37:28).
C. MONEY PAID FOR DIVINATION
So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and repeated Balak’s words to him (Numbers 22:7).
And Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the Lord my God” (Numbers 22:18).
Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the command of the Lord, either good or bad, of my own accord (Numbers 24:13).
D. MONEY OFFERED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER OF ENTIRE JEWISH RACE
If it is pleasing to the king [king Ahasuerus], let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business, to put into the king’s treasuries. Then the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. And the king said to Haman, “The silver is yours, and the people also, to do with them as you please” (Esther 3:9-11).
And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact amount of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews (Esther 4:7).
E. MONEY PAID TO HARM SAMPSON
. . . [Sampson loved] Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, “Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver” (Judges 16:4-5).
. . . the lords of the Philistines came up to her [Delilah], and brought the money in their hands (Judges 16:18).
F. MONEY PAID FOR MURDER
They [leaders of Shechem] gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows [to commit murder] (Judges 9:4).
G. THE WICKED OPPOSE THE WORK OF GOD WHEN IT COST THEM MONEY
It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a certain slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortunetelling. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” And she continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities (Acts 16:16-19).
A certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. And not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship should even be dethroned from her magnificence” (Acts 19:24-27).
H. MONEY PAID TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
When Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” But Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me” (Acts 8:18-24).