Spell It Greed

A railroad strike is averted. 

A postal worker’s strike is ended. 

An air traffic controller’s slow-down is over. 

A truck driver’s strike causes hardships and brings financial loss to many business establishments. 

And by the time these lines appear in print, you may have half a dozen more strikes, boycotts, walkouts, and the like.

It means that two vicious evils are with us in abundant measure, and that the very foundations are being shaken so severely that the building is threatened with the ruin of collapse! 

“Might makes right” is not only the slogan of the day; it is the principle by which the world lives. And our society is rife with greed and covetousness. Because these evils abound in the measure that they do today in our country and throughout the whole world, the handwriting is on the wall. 

Mankind does not love God and has not the fear of God in its heart. It is not and cannot be subject to the first table of God’s law (See Romans 8:7); and therefore it cannot keep the second table of the law either. It cannot devise laws of its own that will be respected and kept by the natural man. Nor can it build up and keep a good society. 

Man is greedy. Man is covetous. And in his greed and covetousness he will disregard all authority and right to get what his covetous soul wants. Riot, revolt, murder, adultery, theft and deceit are all his tools and methods .of satisfying his greedy and covetous heart. And there is such an inner relationship between the six commandments in the second table of the law. The tenth is not added to fill out the number. It is not one of minor significance. It is one that explains the need for the five that precede it. And even as it is true that if you keep the first commandment of the law, you will not only keep the other three in the first table but the whole law of ten commandments, so if indeed you keep the tenth, you will keep not only the other five in the second table of the law but the entire Decalogue. 

And greed is a lack of love toward God and toward man. 

Greed is dissatisfaction with God in His-providence. It is an act whereby the heart of man rebels against God’s sovereign distribution of His creatures. And the violation of commandments five through nine is the body’s activity of responding to that greed and covetousness. The heart lusts in greed; and the hand, and eye and ear and flesh of man climbs over the fence of God’s law to go and get that which the heart lusts after. The authorities are defied because man is greedy. By murder fellowmen must be pushed aside to satisfy that greed. Adultery, fornication and rape stem forth from greed. One may murder because he covets his neighbor’s house. He commits adultery because he covets his neighbor’s wife. He steals and bears false witness because he covets menservants and maidservants, oxen and asses. 

Look only casually, and you will see it before your very eyes. 

Do the truck drivers care one snap of their finger that through their strike to fill their own pockets these establishments that require their services may go bankrupt and are having their pockets bled of the very cold cash wherewith these drivers are seeking to fill their own? Did the postal workers care one whit that the garment industry, that needed the postal services so badly to get their “Easter. togs” to the stores, was financially hurt? Now we are not in any way fighting for this commercialization of what in the Church is a glorious day of spiritual rejoicing rather than a day to display how well-dressed one can be. We simply use this case to show that greed and covetousness are devoid of love for the neighbor. In fact the principle behind the whole godless strike is to hit the other fellow where it hurts! That other establishments and members of another union are going to suffer is incidental: the whole idea of the strike is to HURT management. It, that strike, never stems forth from love of the brethren. It never is the result of a sincere and serious desire to honour those who are in authority over us. And the screams of violent language used, the placards displayed, the actions and deeds to which men resort as clearly as you could want it shout out the word HATE! Greed is hatred. Love knows no greed. The mother who loves her child will go without to give to that child. Love always gives. Greed always takes away. Greed is a closed fist. Love is an open hand. Love caresses. Greed strikes a blow! I am not sure of the derivation of the word strike, but it is well chosen. It is striking a blow of hatred toward fellow men. It is hitting him with all that you have to make him come across and satisfy the lust of your heart. And plainly it is utterly devoid of any love. 

Not only that, but the greed in man is so great and powerful that he is always ready to defend such deeds of hatred. How a child of God can square all this with the Word of God, how he can, while claiming to fear God, be so fearless of trampling God’s law under his feet in riot, which violates the fifth commandment, and in feeding his covetous heart, which violates the tenth commandment, the fear of the Lord cannot explain. 

“Might makes right” is not a principle of God’s Word. Uniting as a band in order to have power to forcethe employer to do as you wish is not the letter nor the spirit of the law of God. We sowed the wind, and now we are reaping the whirlwind. Group after group in our land rises up with numbers to force its wishes by brute strength. Law and order are strangers in our land, for we have long ago adopted force and coercion as our method of operating the affairs of mankind. 

And the whole thing would be laughable, were it not so serious. 

Men of the world earning $10,000 a year cannot make ends meet and need to strike for higher wages for the very “necessities” of life!!!! But children of God earning less than $10,000 a year and who spend at least $1,000 for Christian Schooleducation for their children and $500 for church budget and for works of charity make ends meet. These ungodly have an extra $1,500 to spend, for they attend no church, and their children attend the public school which requires no tuition but is maintained by the taxes which the child of God pays above and beyond his Christian School tuition. 

But the greedy heart of man covets more and more. As the economy rises and new dainties are invented and presented to the public, we just have to have them. We see our neighbor’s house, his wife, how many manservants and maidservants he has, his Cadillac and house trailer, to say nothing of his boat or yacht. And we just have to have the same. These become necessities to us rather than luxuries. And when the greed and covetousness that are in our souls are fed, watered and nourished, we have to go on strike or steal, or murder, or cheat to get them. 

That there are people even in our land that do not get the necessities of life in the way of nourishing food we will not deny. But it has to be shown us that these are among those who have jobs and go on strike for higher pay. It has to be shown us that these suffer because they do not receive sufficient wages as members of a union to buy the nourishing food that they require. Of course, if you are to keep up with the Joneses and maintain their standard of living with your lower salary, you will have to cut somewhere. Of course, when the greedy factory worker sees the affluence of the factory owner and with greedy eye and covetous soul aspires to it, he will have to break God’s other laws as well to try to get some of that owner’s goods by a strike, to seek to even things up a bit. Greed will lead you to seek force to get what you want. Greed will inflame your soul with hatred against that owner to do him all the damage you can, and to threaten his business with financial ruin for your own financial gain. 

The strike may be the order of the day in this age, but then greed and covetousness are the order of the day. And then lawlessness and disorder are our way of life. For the law of God says, “Honour thy father and thy mother. . .” and, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house. . . .” And law and order are not simply heeding the law made by man. Law and order begin with keeping the laws of God. Ignore this first and last commandment in the second table of the law, and murder, adultery, theft and deceit will plague your land. 

And not only our nation but the whole world is threatened by that min of collapse. More and more fearful of life do our cities become. The streets we could safely walk in times gone by must be avoided for one’s very life’s sake. Out of places where one could quietly and faithfully labour for his bread one is brutally cast with words of murder and hatred to accompany it. We boast of freedom. We speak of ours as a land of opportunity. And yet the place of the child of God is becoming smaller and smaller. And the ungodly themselves live in terror of other ungodly men and women. 

Spell it greed, for that is what it is. 

And it all began when man was successfully moved to covet God’s position over His creation. In greed he pushed God aside to try to become like Him. From that moment on all these evil treatments of man by man began to arise. This greed leads man to trample all of God’s laws under his feet. And there is no solution to our social problems that does not reckon with this basic greed of man. For that reason all the attempts of the unbeliever to stem the tide, to realize a return to law and order are doomed to failure before they begin. And the strike will only strike back at the strikers. It does already; and though they see these things, the drive of greed will not allow them to do differently. Each strike brings a rise in the cost of living; and men know this. Each strike brings a hardship and financial loss to “innocent” bystanders. Yet they go on and on, and the words become harsher and the deeds more violent. And the methods become more clever. A slow down is explained as being due to “illness.” Men just do not show up for work to force with a gloved fist the measures and price they want. Where it all will lead to in the years just ahead of us only God knows. But let us not deceive ourselves into defending it and practicing it. Spell it greed, for that is what God does. And when you have spelled it correctly, you can begin to look for the remedy. Spell the tumor benign when it is malignant, and you are going to have a dead man on your hands. Spelling the word incorrectly is not going to cure the disease. Spell it correctly, and the correct diagnosis will serve to find the unfailing cure. 

Spell it greed and call it hatred. Then you can turn to the Word of God for the cure that He has designed in the blood and by the Spirit of Christ.

Spell it “necessary” and you are on the way to ruin. Sin is never necessary. Dishonoring those God places over you is never the way to success. Greed is the way to complete loss of life and goods and joy and peace in the lake of fire!

Spell it greed and in His fear seek the solution in Him Who “thought not the robbery to be equal with God” but humbled Himself to death, that He might fill us with love of God and take from our hearts all greed for God’s position and man’s possession.