“Yahweh has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.” (Psalm 103: 19)
Materialism is a Deadly Serious Matter
The most materialistic people I know are not super rich. They are just ordinary people with ordinary means. What they own and the way they show off what they own is their way of saying, “Please look at me because I’m special.”
I’m reminded of the time I saw Malcolm Forbes’ boat docked in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland. It must have been 200 feet long, and it was lavish. I think about that boat every time I’m around materialistic people who are strutting their stuff for me to see.
Nobody can win a competition for showy wealth because there will always be someone out there who has more stuff and more expensive stuff than they do.
Materialism is easy to see. For example, when you hear someone say, “Honey, will you go out to the BMW and get the Yeti”, you have a good reason to suspect that you have encountered a person with a full-blown case of materialism.
In their eyes, it’s not a car. It’s a BMW. Status means a lot to materialistic people. To them, owning a BMW is all about status.
And it’s not just a cooler. It’s a Yeti. It’s about status down to the watch on their wrists, the socks on their feet, and the underwear they wear—things that few people see.
Don’t get me wrong. BMWs are great cars. The decision to buy one isn’t necessarily motivated by materialism. They are quiet, smooth riding, performance automobiles, and they tend to hold their value. Those are good reasons to buy a BMW. People who buy BMWs for those reasons tend to think of them as cars, very good cars, but cars nonetheless.
The same is true of Yetis. They are exceptional coolers, but they are just coolers. My brother-in-law has a large Yeti on his boat. He lives in Massachusetts, and he fishes a lot. Frequently, he fishes for days at a time more than 100 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean. A Coleman cooler wouldn’t work for him, but a Yeti does. To him, a Yeti is a necessity. His purchase wasn’t motivated by materialism.
Having money and lots of it is not a problem. Abraham was very wealthy. So were Isaac and Jacob/Israel. So were David and Solomon. The Bible says so explicitly, but it doesn’t dwell on their wealth. It talks about who they were as human beings.
In our world, money is necessary and so are things. Our attitude toward them is the problem.
The Messiah was addressing materialism when He said,
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6: 19-21)
Materialism was the first thing Yahweh warned me about after Katie and I were married. That was almost 45 years ago.
Katie is the least materialistic person I know. Thankfully, our daughters aren’t materialistic, either.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, Yahweh was preparing me for what would come later. He wanted me to understand how to receive the blessings He would bestow on me. He wanted to make certain that I would not allow the things He gave me to take His place in my heart. Even now, He wants me to acknowledge that they are blessings from Him, and He wants to make sure that I use the blessings He gives me the way He intends for them to be used.
Materialism is a heart problem. Possessions occupy a place in materialistic people’s hearts that should be reserved for Yahweh alone. That means materialism is worshiping false gods. That’s a serious offense.
The apostle Paul talked about materialism, too:
“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of Elohim, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6: 9-12)
The Messiah made clear just how dangerous materialism is:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name cast out demons, and in Your Name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7: 21-23)
Materialism is “lawlessness”. People who are motivated by fleshly desire and greed are doing the opposite of what Yahweh wants them to do.
Pretending to make amends for materialism by churchgoing won’t work because Yahweh knows our hearts. People who think they can fool Yahweh by going to church remind me of Bill Clinton. After each new scandal, he and Hillary would be seen coming out of church with Bibles in hand. It was just a show. Voters bought it, but Yahweh didn’t.
The people about whom the Messiah was speaking in Matthew 7 did some marvelous things. They prophesied; they cast out demons; they performed miracles; and they did those things in Yahweh’s Name. They experienced Yahweh’s power first-hand, but they refused to acknowledge Him as their Savior and their Elohim, and they were not being led by His Spirit. They were using Yahweh to advance themselves and probably to get rich in the process.
In Matthew 19: 24, the Messiah said, “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Elohim.”
I don’t want to get too technical here, but the word “camel” is not a correct translation. It should have been translated as “rope”. His point was that people who devote themselves to things and wealth won’t get into heaven.
He wasn’t making small talk. He was warning us about a deadly serious matter.
To the Messiah, materialistic people are lost souls. They will end up hearing words from Him that I do not want to hear: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”
Poor people can be just as materialistic as rich people. Again, materialism isn’t about how much we have or what we have. It’s about our attitude toward things.
Satan understands materialism better than we do. He knows how easy it is for us to lust for things, and he knows how good we are at rationalizing. We can make ourselves believe just about anything.
Satan uses our hearts’ desires to catch and destroy us.
Psalm 37: 4 says, “Delight yourself in Yahweh; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
That does not mean Yahweh will give us everything we want. It means that if we look to Him and have faith in Him, He will give us His desires so that our desires become what He wants.
The Messiah said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Yahweh knows our hearts. He can’t be fooled.
“If My people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7: 14)
Change that Yahweh calls “good” begins in the hearts of believers—people who are recognizable because they are different.
We are different because we belong to Him and are called by His Name. We are Yahweh’s people, His followers.
His Name is Yahweh, the website, is a companion of the book His Name is Yahweh.
To download His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition for free in PDF format, click on the title below:
- His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition in PDF format
His Name is Yahweh has been downloaded and shared in congregations all over the world. Please take advantage of this opportunity to read and share essential information about Yahweh.
You have my permission to copy and print His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition as many times as you want. Please, don’t sell it. Give it away.
To purchase His Name is Yahweh: Revised Edition in paperback or in eBook, click here.
To see videos that explain the importance of Yahweh’s Name, click here.
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17: 22-24)
See “His Name is Yahweh”.