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But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.
But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. The desires that captivate us are to be resisted, but resistance alone will not help us develop contentment.
Over the past four weeks I have been teaching a series on contentment.
Up to this point, the texts we’ve used have commended contentment as a desirable trait to possess.
The text in Hebrews, however, takes a more direct line and commands that we be content. Don’t love money; be satisfied (content, NIV) with what you have. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. ” (Hebrews 13:5-6, NLT) The writer of Hebrews is straightforward and plain spoken.
We can be free from the love of money and be content with what we have in light of the surpassing greatness of the power and presence of God. There is a somewhat obscure story in the book of Genesis that illustrates this perfectly.
When God becomes the all surpassing value of our lives, that value subordinates all other values and allows us to confess three things. In the 14th chapter, Abram’s nephew Lot and the citizens of Sodom had been captured by a coalition of five invading kings and their armies.
One of Lot’s servants escaped and reported the news to Abram, who gathered his 318 elite warriors and set off to retrieve the captives.Abram’s venture is successful, and the citizens of Sodom are rescued along with their possessions which had been taken as the spoils of war.Wishing to show his gratitude, the king of Sodom offered the salvaged plunder to Abram as a reward for his daring rescue operation. “I solemnly swear to the Lord, God most high, creator of heaven and earth, that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you.Otherwise, you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich’.” When the fear of the Lord is absent from our lives, we become slaves to lesser fears. I like the use of the word “mere.” It’s a superlative of British origin.Contented people become free from fear, not through courage or bravery, but by elevating their estimation of God. Jesus taught his disciples not to fear people who can destroy our bodies, but to fear the one who can destroy both the body and soul in hell (Matthew ).As you’ve already recognized, the common theme through these confessions is a high value of God.