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FGHT Devotional - The Love of Money

The Love of Money: The Root of All Evil

(Balaam’s twelve steps to destruction:  Numbers 22-25; Numbers 31:7-8; Joshua 13:22)

Balak, the king of Moab, offered Balaam, a true prophet of God, money and fame to curse God’s chosen people, the Israelites.  Balaam didn’t succumb to the offer initially, but ultimately his greed caused his defeat and death.  Let’s look at the twelve steps that led Balaam away from God, when he was drawn away by his own lusts and enticement.  James 1:4 (KJV) says But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  

Let us learn from the warnings of 1 Timothy 6:10 which says:   For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

  1. Balaam, a prophet of God, welcomed and consorted with representatives from a king who worshipped Baal, an idol god, even when the king made it clear that he wanted God’s people cursed.
  2. Balaam attempted to monetize the spiritual gift that God gave him when he sought God to curse the Israelites for financial gain.
  3. Balaam prayed amiss. While we must always get an answer from God about every aspect of our lives, some things we should not even consider taking to Him.  For example, we don’t pray and ask God if we could please sin just one time with a girl because she is so cute.  Or, we don’t ask God if we could please cause a person to be destroyed that we don’t like.
  4. Balaam did not respect the spiritual position that God gave him. As a man of God, he should have been incensed that Baal worshippers had the nerve to ask him to go against God’s people.  This would not have been a prideful stance, simply respect for the power that God placed in his life. 
  5. Balaam didn’t take God’s “No!” for an answer.When God said, “No!” Balaam should have accepted his answer and ended all conversation about the matter.  There is nothing wrong with confirming God’s answer if you are uncertain. In this case, however, God’s answer was very direct and clear.

    Balaam: “God, can I go?”   God: “No!” (God even explained to Balaam whyHis answer to Balaam was “no” when he told him, “They are blessed.”)(If you ever discover that you unintentionally went past God’s will on an issue, repent quickly and undo it if possible.  He will forgive you, although some of the things that you did may not be able to be undone.  Learn from it and just don’t do it again).

  6. Balaam gave Balak a secondopportunity to try and change his mind when Balak came back with an even greater enticement of fame and even more money. Balaam should have been as determined as Balak was and he should have had an even stronger resolve to obey God.  But he didn’t.  The love of money kept getting in Balaam’s way.
  7. Balaam talked to and listened to the devil too much.He actually went back to God about the same matter, hoping that God would change His mind.  (If we are not careful and allow the devil to talk too much, the devil will begin to make sense.  We must remember that just because a thing makes sense, that still doesn’t make it right. Satan is a liar and a trickster. Forget what the devil says.  What did God say about that thing?)
  8. Balaam actually disobeyed God on several occasions in this situation.
  9. Apparently, Balaam did not understand the difference between God’s perfect will and His permissive will.
  10. Balaam did not recognize that he was becoming spiritually weak. Although Balaam did prophesy only what God told him to say, he had been severely weakened spiritually by his consorting with the enemy, disobeying God and being totally in love with money.
  11. Balaam tried to serve God and dance with the devil at the same time. Matthew 6:24 says No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
  12. Balaam tried to fight against those who God had blessed. How on earth could Balaam have expected to prosper when he was fighting against God’s anointed?  When you fight against something or someone that God has blessed, you are actually fighting against God.  And your little arms really are too short to box with God.

Unfortunately, Balaam died like a fool when he was killed by the Israelites as an enemy, right along with the Kings of Midian and others (Numbers 31:7-8).  He who had been a powerful man of God became a backslider and a soothsayer (Joshua 13:22), simply because of his love of money.  The love of money will take you down, down, down, even into the pits of Hell.

Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the wisdom and understanding that you have given us concerning the danger of the love of money and the spirit of greed and avarice.  You and You alone are our source and You are well able to meet all of our needs.  Keep us, O God, pure in the inner man.  In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, upon whom we lean and depend on or everything, Amen.