I. COMMANDED NOT TO BE GREEDY
But do not let…greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints…this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:3, 5).
A. GREED IS IDOLATRY
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to . . . greed, which amounts to idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
B. GUARD YOURSELF AGAINST EVERY FORM OF GREED
And He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions (Luke 12:15).
1. Exercise self control if you tend toward greed
When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you; and put a knife to your throat, if you are a man of great appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for it is deceptive food (Proverbs 23:1-3).
C. WHEN JESUS CHRIST BECOMES OUR DOMINATE DESIRE, GREED NOT A PROBLEM
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth (Psalm 73:25).
D. EXAMPLE OF GODLY PERSON WHO WAS NOT GREEDY
For we [Paul] never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed – God is witness (1 Thessalonians 2:5).
II. THE LORD PUNISHES GREED
A. AS AN EXAMPLE TO HIS CHILDREN
Now these things [Lord’s discipline of Israel in wilderness] happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved (1 Corinthians 10:6).
1. What they greedily desired
The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic” (Numbers 11:4-5).
B. EXAMPLE OF GREEDY PEOPLE
The people rushed greedily upon the spoil [Saul defeated Philistines], and took sheep and oxen and calves . . . (1 Samuel 14:32).
1. Greed leaders
And the dogs [leaders of Judah] are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one (Isaiah 56:11).
2. Greedy people are wicked and curse God
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed . . . (Romans 1:28-29).
[the ungodly] having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness (2 Peter 2:3).
. . . the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord (Psalm 10:3-4).
3. Greed will capture the greedy
. . . the treacherous will be caught by their own greed (Proverbs 11:6).
4. False prophets will exploit God’s people out of greed
But false prophets also arose among the people [of Israel], just as there will be false teachers among you…and in their greed they will exploit you with false words . . . (2 Peter 2:1, 3).
[the ungodly] having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness (2 Peter 2:14-15).
5. Some people will never be satisfied
The leech has two daughters, “Give,” “Give.” (Proverbs 30:15).
6. Religious people who hear good teaching can still be greedy
And they come to you [Ezekiel] as people come, and sit before you as My people, and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after gain (Ezekiel 33:31).
C. Example of Lord punishing greedy people
So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy (Numbers 11:34).
But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “Behold, my master has spared this Naaman the Aramean, by not receiving from his hands what he brought. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.” So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw one running after him, he came down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?” And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Behold, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothes.’” And Naaman said, “Be pleased to take two talents . . . [he took them] and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.” Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you, when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money and to receive clothes and olive groves and vineyards and sheep and oxen and male and female servants? Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow (2 Kings 5:20-27).
Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord. For from the least of them [Israelites] even to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain . . . (Jeremiah 6:12-13).
Therefore I will give their [ungodly Israelites] wives to others, their fields to new owners; because from the least even to the greatest everyone is greedy for gain . . . (Jeremiah 8:10).
III. A PERSON WHO LOVES MONEY WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on? (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11).