Text: “In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou had taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord – Ezekiel 22:12.
Comment: Greed has led people to many abominable deeds such as assassinations, extortions, kidnappings and exploitation or cheating to make supernormal profits. God lamented this pitiable state of the world when He said: “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely”. (Jeremiah 6:13; 8:10) Going further, God said “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD” – Jeremiah 6:15.
Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, seeing that his master refused the gifts from Naaman, went behind and lied that two young men of the sons of the prophets came suddenly to visit and that Elisha needed “a talent of silver, and two changes of garments”. He was given two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, which he took and hid. But God had revealed this to Elisha and he cursed him with leprosy, which took immediate effect. (2 Kings 5:20-27) Greed always leaves one with dreadful or calamitous consequences.
The Lord stated, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” – Matthew 6:24.