Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 4, 1969
NUMBER 18, PAGE 8-9a

As The Partridge Sitteth

Harold F. Savely

"As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that gatteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool" (Jer. 17:11).

The oriental partridge laid many eggs. Some claim, though perhaps without factuality, that she even greedily gathered eggs and chicks from other nests to gratify her motherly instinct. Regardless, the elements, the spoiler, and the scattered brood soon turned her would-be pleasure into frustration and despair. Such also befalls the man who gets riches, and not by right. It leaves him in the midst of this days. Though he may have been a fool all while, he must fully face his folly by the end of his days.

One is never condemned for having God's sun to favorably shine upon him (Matt. 5:4,5). The rich, from rightful gain, are subjects of eternal life, if they use their means properly (I Tim. 6:17,18). The Macedonians did (II Cor. 8:1-5). We are likewise admonished (I Cor. 16:1,2). Yet, if one should gain the whole world to the loss of the soul, there is no profit (Matt. 16:26).

Perhaps more warnings are sounded against wrongful pursuits of wealth than is taught on any other Biblical subject. Love of money truly is the root of all evil and can pierce with sorrows (I Tim. 6:10). Many sins within the church may be traced to this. A brief list of means of wrongful gains are noted.

Unlawful Seizure. The sin of Achan, in taking of certain spoils of war, lost men and battles for Israel (Josh. 7:20,21). Developments of his sin were expressed in his own words, "I saw...I coveted...I took."

Hire of Wrongdoing. Balaam was a prophet of God. His stated limitation was to not go beyond the word of God, to do more or less, even for a house full of silver and gold (Num. 22:18). Yet, for aprice of divination, he sought to curse the people of God (Num. 22:23). In self-justification, he attempted to see what more God would say in order to receive approval (Num. 22:19). Therein was the principle of the doctrine of Balaam (Rev. 2:14). His was the error of Balaam for reward (Jude 11).

Oppression. The rich many times oppress the poor. Israel once stretched upon beds of ivory to the neglect of mourning for the afflictions of Joseph (Amos 6:3,6). They, together with all like heartlessness, heap to themselves treasures against the last day (Jas. 5:1-6). God has a way of seeing that dogs lick the blood of power magnets (I Kings 21:19).

Covetousness. Uncovering the sin of service to mammon as master caused indignation among the coveteous Pharisees (Luke 16:13,14). Their ministry was comparable to other false teachers among disciples to make merchandise of them (II Pet. 2:3). Covetousness is a sin to be mortified before it mortifies the soul (Col. 3:5).

Politics. A lucrative field in which to enlarge one's financial standing is in present day politics. It cannot be argued that the rich young ruler made all his gain through politics. His loss did result from the love of his gain (Luke 18:18-24). Many sorrowful departures from the Lord result from modern Herodianism (Matt. 22:15-22).

Selfish Farming. One may spend a life cleaning up the old farm, tearing down and building greater barns, for years of pleasure. Search the tombstones and imagine as God may have written upon them, "Thou Fool" (Luke 12:16-21). It may be necessary to forsake all worldly ambitions in the interest of life everlasting (Matt. 19:29).

Selfish Business. The rich man was so busy with his little activities that he had not disposition to see whether a dog-licked beggar received as much as crumbs from his table (Luke 16:19-31). Truly, as one colored brother preached, "He had not been in hell fifteen minutes before he got concerned about mission work. He wanted Abraham to send a missionary back to his brothers"!

Hypocrisy. Desire for distinction and prominence, along with greed for possessions, led Ananias and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:1-11). This may be remembered as the first recorded disciplinary problem within the church.

Defraud. Devious means, power politics, legal, and illegal manipulations are often employed to fill individual coffers. Such led some at Corinth to defraud their brethren. It shamed the disciples in non-believing heathen courts and a puffed up church (I Cor. 6:1-8).

Lustful Appetites. A lust to have, a lack of faith to rightfully obtain, and murder to accomplish aims, have ever been causes of wars and warrings (Jas. 4:1-3).

Robbing God. Priests refused to teach. Israel refused to give into the Lord's storehouse to replenish the priests' tables. The Lord withheld his blessings. The prophet exclaimed, "Will a man rob God" (Mal. 3:8)? Some may fall after the same example of withholding today, deluding themselves into thinking they might fare better(I Cor. 16:1,2).

Begging Parasites. All sorts of governmental, social and religious handouts (or more nearly, rake-ins) have become the order of our day. The little end of the tap root of all bitterness and clangor engendered over institutionalism (so-called) upon the church can be removed when men give up lusts for distinction, prominence, power politics, and "green" power. Surely no one would argue but that the needy rightfully deserve our passioned support. Yet, he that will not work should not eat (II Thess. 3:10). This can be applied to institutional beggars too, however worthy their cause or wet their tears! It is highly possible for some to barter in misfortunates of earth about like pin-hookers traffic in cattle, all to the delusion that they give God service (Matt. 7:22; Jno. 16:2).

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