1 Timothy 6:9-11
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts…
"The love of money," says the apostle, "is the root of all evil"; not that all evils have, but that all may have, their root therein. Take a rapid glance of a fewer these, to which it certainly gives birth. And first, what root it is "of idolatry"; or rather it is not so much a root of this, as itself this idolatry — "Covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). This sounds a hard saying, but it is one which can justify itself. For what is the essence of idolatry? Is it not a serving and loving of the creature more than the Creator; a giving to the lower what was due only to the higher, what was due only to Him who is the highest of all? And as this love of money disturbs the relations of men to God, drawing off to some meaner object affections due to Him, so it mingles continually an element of strife and division in the relations of men with one another. Again, what a root of unrighteousness, of untruthful dealing between man and man, of unfair advantage taken of the simple and the ignorant, of falsehood, fraud, and chicane, does the love of money continually show itself to be! And then — for time would fail me if I dwelt at large on all the mischiefs that spring from this, which even the heathen poet could style "the accursed hunger of gold" — what treading on the poor; what thrusting of them on unwholesome and dangerous occupations, with no due precautions taken for their health and safety; what shutting up of the bowels of compassion from the Lazarus lying at the gate; what wicked thoughts finding room in men's hearts, secret wishes for the death of those who stand between them and some coveted possession, have all their origin here. Consider, then, first, how powerless riches are against some of the worst calamities of our present life; how many of the sorrows which search men out the closest, which most drink up the spirit, these are utterly impotent to avert or to cure. Ask a man in a fit of the stone, or a victim of cancer, what his riches are worth to him; why, if he had the wealth of the Indies ten times told, he would exchange it all for ease of body, and a little remission of anguish. But why speak of bodily anguish? There is an anguish yet harder to bear, the anguish of the man whom the arrows of the Almighty, for they are His arrows, have pierced; who has learned what sin is, but has stopped short with the experience of the Psalmist, "Day and night Thy hand is heavy upon me; my moisture is like the drought in summer" (Psalm 32:4), and never learned that there is also an atonement. What profits it such a one that all the world is for him, so long as he feels and knows that God is against him? Then, too, how often we see a man comparatively desolate in the midst of the largest worldly abundance. These considerations may do something; but take now another and a more effectual remedy against this sin. Let a greater love expel a less, a nobler affection supersede a meaner. Consider often the great things for which you were made, the unsearchable riches of which you have been made partakers in Christ; for coveteousness, the desire of having, and of having ever more and more, sin as it is, is yet the degeneration of something which is not a sin. Man was made for the infinite; with infinite longings, infinite cravings and desires. But finally, the habit of largely and liberally setting apart from our income to the service of God and the necessities of our poorer brethren is a great remedy against covetousness.
(R. C. Trench.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.