And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.…
Money and money making are the most frequent and familiar subjects of talk and thought. I remember once seeing an old merchant, at whose house I was visiting, sitting by himself against the wall. The room was filled with guests; music and dancing and merry laughter were all around; but there sat the old man, taking no heed, with his head against the wall. Fearing he was ill, I asked his son about him, and he answered — "He is only thinking about money; he is always like that."
I. Now, understand me at the beginning, there is no sin in having money, if it be honestly come by and rightly used. What I want to do is to show you THE SIN AND FOLLY OF THINKING TOO MUCH OF EARTHLY TREASURE, and too little of heavenly. An emigrant ship was once wrecked on a desert island. The people were saved, but they had few provisions, and it was necessary to make haste to clear and till the ground and sow seed. Before this could be done they discovered gold on the island, and everyone gave himself up to the search for wealth. Meantime, the season slipped by, the fields were left untilled, and the people found themselves starving in the midst of useless treasure. There are people now who starve their soul and conscience that they may acquire a little more gold and silver.
1. One reason why we are wrong in thinking too highly of earthly wealth is, that the obtaining it is a very uncertain and difficult thing. Where one man grows rich, hundreds are ruined.
2. Another reason for not thinking too highly of earthly wealth is, that it is soon gone.
3. We should not overvalue earthly wealth, because it does not make people happy. A golden crown will not cure the headache, or a velvet slipper give ease from the gout. Sometimes, indeed, wealth has made people altogether miserable. There was a miser, worth thousands of pounds annually, who firmly believed that he must die in the workhouse, and actually worked daily in a garden and made one of his own servants pay him wages.
4. Excessive love of money is to be avoided, because it often keeps us back from God.
II. I pass on to speak of BETTER RICHES THAN THIS WORLD CAN GIVE, riches which all may have if they will, which will make the poorest wealthy. "The gold of that land is good." Earthly gold is often alloyed with base metal, but the gold of God is pure. Earthly gold is only for the few; the gold of God is for all who desire it. Earthly gold soon passes away; the gold of God lasts forever. Earthly gold must be left at the grave; the gold of God becomes even more precious after death than before. Earthly gold cannot satisfy; the gold of God brings perfect peace and satisfaction.
1. Tim love of God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2. The precious promises of the gospel.
(1) That God will never leave or forsake us.
(2) That the righteous shall want no good thing.
(3) That God will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him.
(4) Rest for the weary and heavy laden.
(5) Pardon for the penitent.
(6) The resurrection of the body.
(7) The life everlasting.
(H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.