Bible has much to say about the honest production and proper use
of material resources. It recognizes and regulates the relation
between the production and the distribution and use of wealth. It
is axiomatic that those who contribute to the making of money should
share in the enjoyment of it.
are two obligations that naturally attach to the making and use
of money: it should be made honestly: and it should
be used rightly.
should be obtained honestly. "Providing
for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in
the sight of men" (2 Corinthians 8:21). Those who have
come into possession of money dishonestly sooner or later will pay
for their dishonesty. The covetous Gehazi, by lying, obtained silver
and raiment from Naaman; but "he went
out from his presence a leper as white as snow" (2 Kings
5:20-27). Judas betrayed his Lord for 30 pieces of money; but his
heart was so tortured by the fires of remorse that he returned the
price of his treachery with the awful confession, "I
have betrayed the innocent blood" (Matthew 27:4). The
rich men of James 5 had filled their coffers with the toil of their
underpaid, or unpaid, laborers and the terrible consequences of
their sins were upon them. But it is not enough to obtain money
in the right manner.
rich men to whom, and about whom, Jesus spoke (Luke 12, 16, 18),
so far as we know, came into the possession of their wealth by no
fraudulent means. They may have inherited it; they may have married
it; they may have received it as a gift; or they may have earned
it. The rich young ruler is not charged with dishonesty. The rich
farmer of Luke 12 and the rich man of Luke 16 are above reproach
so far as the manner of obtaining their riches is concerned. The
way they made their money is not the point primarily under consideration.
It is not enough to obtain money honestly. Having obtained resources
honestly there remains the solemn obligations to use them properly.
The three rich men in question made their grave mistake, not in
the manner they obtained their wealth, but in the way they used
are three factors which contribute to the making of money, regardless
of the amount. First, the person who immediately has the money
contributes his part. This has been true from the beginning.
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat
bread" (Genesis 3:19). "If
any will not work, neither let him eat" (2 Thessalonians
3:10). "The labour is worthy of his hire"
(Luke 10:7). It is his duty to produce and his privilege
to enjoy the fruit of his labors. Second, society contributes
its part. A man with no contact with society is incapable of
making money in the usual sense of the term. If Robinson Crusoe
had remained a thousand years on his fabled island, with no contact
with the outside world, he could not have produced any wealth. Third,
God contributes His part. His is the largest part. "But
thou shalt remember the Lord thy God for it is he that giveth thee
power to get wealth" (Deuteronomy 8:18). He is the one
in whom we live and have our being, the giver of every good and
perfect gift. His blessing makes one rich (Proverbs 10:22). If all
three factors contribute to the making of resources, and they do,
should they not be considered in the distribution and use of them?
If three men in business make a legitimate profit, each has a right
to his respective part of it. No one of the three has the right
to take all that has been made.
is significant that the three rich men under consideration failed
at this point. May it not suggest that the greater danger lurks
in the use of, rather than in the making of, resources? The rich
farmer would pull down his barns and build greater, and there bestow
all his grain and goods and say to his soul that it had much goods
laid up for many days. In his plan neither society nor God was considered
for his wealth. Another of the rich men was clothed in purple and
fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. He was not interested
in God nor his fellow man in the use of his resources. Seemingly
the desire of Lazarus to be fed of the crumbs which fell from this
rich man's table was not granted. It was nothing to him if Lazarus,
sore-covered and dog-licked, died of hunger and exposure at his
gate. For God and His cause he had not thought nor gift. The rich
young ruler kept, for a brief time, his wealth while the cry of
the needy was unheard and the voice of the Lord was disobeyed. These
made their fatal mistake in the use of their money. What a lesson
for us -- what a warning to us! Brother, what are you doing to help
the poor and to preach the Gospel? Will the Lord be pleased with
the use you are making of your money?
them...that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that
they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in
store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come,
that they may lay hold on eternal life"(1
We extend our deepest sympathy to Delbert and family at the passing
of sister Viola Morinier on Thursday. Services are to be announced.
The family asks that memorials be made to the church building fund
in lieu of flowers. Please send cards to:
Delbert & Frances Leavens
Venice, FL 34293
Time: 5:00 PM
Place: the Wheelers
The food theme for this occasion
is finger foods and appetizers.
At our party we are having a Gift
Exchange, If you wish to participate please bring a wrapped present
with a maximum cost of $5.00.
R.S.V.P. by November
Sign-up Sheet in the foyer.
If directions are needed please
let us know. Hope to see you there.