Bible Topics: Greed

Definition: Desire for possessing more than one needs, especially money or property.

1. Although the objective of greed is gratification, the result is always greater unhappiness.

* Proverbs 15:27a He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house.

* Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. [See also Ecclesiastes 4:8b.]

* Ecclesiastes 5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

* Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

* 1 Timothy 6:9,10 But they that will [desire to] be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition [damnation, spiritual death]. 10 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.

2. Greed is a characteristic of the ungodly and leads to more ungodliness.

* Psalm 73:12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

* Proverbs 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

* Jeremiah 5:27,28 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. 28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

* Hosea 12:7 [A picture of the greedy materialist:] He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.

3. Greed leads to spiritual poverty and ruin.

* Mark 8:36,37 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

* Luke 12:16-21 And He [Jesus] spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

* Proverbs 11:24b There is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

* Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

* Habakkuk 2:9,10 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil! 10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.

* Luke 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.

* Luke 16:25 [Abraham speaks to the greedy rich man, who disregarded the poor:] But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

* James 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

* Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

4. Greed is futile!

* Job 20:15 He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of His belly.

* Psalm 39:6 Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

* Proverbs 10:2a Treasures of wickedness profit nothing.

* Proverbs 21:6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

* Proverbs 23:4-5 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. 5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. [See also John 6:27.]

* Haggai 1:6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. [See also Ecclesiastes 5:14a.]

* Revelation 18:14,17a And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 17a For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.

5. Greed has no place in the Lord’s work, especially in leadership.

* 1 Samuel 8:3 [Like Eli’s sons, Samuel’s two sons were total disappointments.] And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre [material gain, profit], and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

* 1 Timothy 3:3 [Concerning the office leaders within the church, Paul writes that they should be] not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.

* 1 Timothy 6:5 [Those who reject God’s Word are full of] perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is Godliness: from such withdraw thyself. [See verses 3-6.]

* Titus 1:7 For a bishop [overseer] must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre. [See also 1 Timothy 3:8.]

* 1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.

* 2 Peter 2:3a [Peter described false prophets and religionists, greedy for gain:] And through covetousness shall they with feigned [pretended] words make merchandise of you.

6. The road to happiness is paved with contentment — not greedy gain.

* Psalm 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

* Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right. [See also 17:1; Ecclesiastes 4:6.]

* Proverbs 30:8,9 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me. 9 Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the Name of my God in vain.

* Philippians 4:11,12 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

* 1 Timothy 6:6-8 But Godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

* Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

7. Go the way of unselfishness!

[See Covetousness, #8, page 193, and Selfishness and Self-centeredness, #8 through #13, page 732.]

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