Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:10, “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.” I like the way the New American Standard Bible reads here — “a root” instead of “the root,” as it is translated elsewhere. It is silly to suggest that the love of money is “the” cause of evil in this world. But it is certainly “a” cause — and one that rears its ugly head in all sorts of circumstances.
On March 20, 1925, an Anglican priest named Frederick Lewis Donaldson preached a sermon centering around what he called the “7 Deadly Social Evils.” Through the help of what he called a “fair friend,” Mohandas Gandhi had the opportunity to reprint the list in his weekly newspaper. A few weeks before the Mahatma’s assassination, he gave a handwritten copy of the list to his grandson, Arun Gandhi. It was Arun Gandhi that brought the list to the world, publishing it after his grandfather’s death under the heading “Seven Blunders of the World.”
The time of the judges is neatly summarized in Judges 17:6 — “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” Similar thoughts are repeated several times in the last few chapters of the book. But just in the first part of the first story we see several issues that a godly king such as David, Jehoshaphat or Josiah might have been able and willing to stave off.
Full disclosure: I am the last person you should go to for reliable information on the lottery. I deliberately avoid these stories — not because I want to limit my exposure to temptations of the flesh, but rather because I detest stupidity and because I wish to expect the best out of my fellow Americans.
That said, the figure $1.5 billion grabs the attention of even the most callous of ‘net-surfers. So I poked around a bit.
When Balaam stubbornly refused to curse the people of God, Balak was furious. He was prepared to pay Balaam big money — and judging from the number of meetings Balaam took with Balak, Balaam was more than willing to accommodate him. But, as Balaam told Balak, that’s not the way inspiration works — “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, saying, ‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the command of the LORD, either good or bad, of my own accord. What the LORD speaks, that I will speak’?” (Numbers 24:12-13).