Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
In verse 5 we are challenged regarding our behaviour. The word translated as “conversation” means “manner of life, character, deportment.” Our manner of life needs to be without covetousness. The word translated as “covetousness” means “greedy, loving money.” Paul was directed to write on this in I Timothy 6:
I Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
It is not money that is the problem. It is a matter of what place does money have in your life. A person can be wealthy and not be covetous. A person can be poor and be covetous.
Lot was a man who loved money more than truth. He pitched his tent toward Sodom and eventually moved his family into that pagan city. His children were corrupted by his choices and eventually his daughters committed incest with their drunken father. The cost of covetousness was much higher than Lot had intended it to be, but he chose that path. He was not in control of the events he would face on that path. No lost person is in control of the events they face along the way. Many face troubles they never expected.
Achan was covetous as well. The nation of Israel had spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. The Bible says their clothes never wore out. Achan’s parents died in that wilderness. God commanded the nation that when they took Jericho, all the treasure of that city belonged to God. Achan saw the nice robes and the silver and the gold and he just had to have some of that. He stole some of the items and hid them in his tent. He was not just covetous but he was a fool. He would never be able to wear those robes. The nation would notice it right away. Covetousness will blind a person’s mind to reality. Achan never expected the end result that God demanded. He missed out on life because of his greed.
Our government knows that covetousness is a real issue with most people. They offer a grant for this project or for that and people jump at it. They want to know, ‘where do I sign?’ Covetousness is a very real problem and it is sin. Most have sold their souls to the devil for some short term pleasure.
The saved person does not know what he or she will face in life. However, he has confidence in the God Who is good and Who loves His children. He promises never to leave His children alone.
Those who are truly born again cannot be greedy. There is nothing wrong with working hard and making honest money. Certainly the union mentality is not supported by the Bible. Work hard and be honest and show your employer he can count on you and trust you. If he is a good employer, he will show his appreciation for having a dependable employee.
God points to something that is of far greater importance than things. Those who are saved have a God Who will never leave them nor forsake them. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is able to influence the heart of the king. He can make a little go a long way for His child. What we need is know Him and walk faithfully with Him. He will guide us in all things. We may get hungry yet in our time. We may have to do without many things. However, for those who are saved, we will never be alone. We will always have access to a hope that is real. The world can take away things, but they cannot take away God’s peace and joy. He gives that to all of His children and unless one of His children chooses to look to the world for help, His peace and joy will be there all the time. The wayward saint will be drawn back to where truth is found.
Verse 6 tells us that if we have the right attitude, we will be able to claim that the Lord is our helper. I listened to a discussion of some people who are looking at ways to confront the corrupt legal system we are living under. One of them stressed the importance of claiming God as the authority. The problem is that this person said you do not need to believe in God. Just make that claim and the judge will not know how to answer that. This person claimed to be influencing others with their approach.
What this person fails to realize is that more and more judges and politicians have no affinity with God. More and more people do not believe there is One true God. Thus, to try to use God as a puppet for selfish ends will not work out well. Those who are truly saved can and should stand upon God’s Word and trust Him to meet their needs according to His riches in glory.
We know that Peter and John trusted in God and they were not ashamed to declare that they must obey God rather than man. That was not just something they said. They actually believed that. That did not mean they did not face opposition. However, they were also a blessing to many who put their trust in God.
The apostle Paul was not ashamed to speak openly and boldly about his relationship with the Lord. He ended up in prison several times. He was beaten and stoned and suffered from hunger. He died as a martyr for the faith but he did not complain. He knew he had a home in heaven.
Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
True Christians have a reward awaiting them that is of far greater value than anything this world has to offer. While we are here, God has work for us to do. We serve God faithfully and while we do that, we look forward to the day we will be called home. We pray and trust others will see the importance of knowing the true God, however if they choose to remain in darkness, that is their choice. They will regret that in the end.
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
That is a worthy testimony. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Jesus Christ showed great compassion for people while on this earth. He took time to allow the false religious leaders to tempt Him and mock Him. He patiently answered them and exposed their hypocrisy. He took time for the sick and the needy. He taught the people the truth and helped those who were seeking truth. He showed His disciples what true love looks like. He knew that His death would make it possible for many to be saved. He willingly went to the cross and shed His blood there so that sinners could be forgiven and saved.
The apostle Paul could not save anyone with his death. However, his death would be a gain because he was going home to his reward. He encouraged many others to follow him to that reward. A few listened and were saved. Others remained lost. Paul was a faithful servant of God and that is what we need to be as well. God is the only hope for man. Our world needs to hear that as much now as at any time in the past. Those who are saved have an important task to be involved in.
John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.