Proverbs 1:19 "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof."
This verse completed a ten-verse counseling session on the dangers of joining a greedy gang. In the first half of this counseling session, Solomon focused on helping his young son identify the enticement of greedy souls. In the second half, Solomon focused on helping his beloved son understand the danger of greedy souls. He wanted his son to understand that their enticing pitch was not to be taken lightly; that their invitation to hurt the innocent was not some empty boasting line.
Solomon finished his counsel by shining a bright light on the root problem of these violent souls – greed. Greedy people are violent people. Greedy people are hurtful people. Greedy people are destructive people. Greedy people are insensitive people. Greedy people are cold people. Eventually, greedy people take away the life of the owners of coveted substance. They do harm because they place a higher value on possessions than they do on the owners of those possessions.
Anger can easily lead to violence but it is not the root of violence; greed is. Aggression can certainly lead to violence but it is not the root of violence; greed is. Disagreement can lead to violence but it is not the root of violence; greed is. Solomon told his son “every one that is greedy of gain” eventually does some violence to owners of the treasures they want. Greed leads to violence. Greed is the root of violence. Solomon knew what Paul knew before he penned the words, “The love of money is the root of all evil” in 1 Timothy 6:10.
Find a person infected with greed and you will find a violent person. Thieves don’t enter homes and businesses with weapons for self-defense; they enter armed intending to do violence if anyone dare resist them in their covetous intentions. Some thieves take lives brutally in hand-to-hand combat while other thieves take lives secretly in elaborate behind-the-scenes plots. When a wealthy soul dies unexpectedly or mysteriously, most of the time investigators will trace that death back to a heart of greed. It is greed that motivates a person to pull the trigger or push the button. It is greed that motivates a person to stealthily slip poison into a beverage. It is greed that motivates a person to jeopardize a vehicle’s safety systems. It is greed that motivates a person to fabricate a lie that will lead to someone’s demise. Such was the case with Jezebel, who was responsible for taking the innocent life of the owner of a vineyard she wanted for her husband. She was not a woman who would physically take the life of a much stronger man but she was a woman who would fabricate lies in order to make other people take the life of a man who owned something she wanted.
Solomon finished his lesson on peer pressure by declaring greed destructive. “Every one that is greedy of gain” will self-destruct at some point. But before that self-destruction comes, “Every one that is greedy of gain” becomes destructive towards others who have something they want. There are no exceptions to this spiritual rule. “EVERY ONE that is greedy of gain” will be harmful because they love money more than they love people. This love of money is the root of all evil in this world.
Young ladies, if you marry a man who is greedy of gain, he will be harmful to others and eventually to himself.
Young men, if you marry a woman who is greedy of gain, she will be harmful to others and eventually to herself.
Young and old alike, if you choose to make the greedy your friend, you will be choosing to make the violent your friend. We need to choose our friends, our associates, our mates, our business partners and our advisers very carefully. When doing so, we need to make special note of how much money means to candidates for our companionship. If we see greed and fail to take it seriously, our future will entertain pain and regret.
Let us remember that there are no exceptions to this wise rule: “Every one that is greedy of gain” brings harm and violence. Therefore, let us make no exceptions and “consent not” to the enticement of the greedy, whether in relationship, partnership or in friendship.