How Much is Enough?
Someone asked, “How much money is enough?” Another replied, “A little more.” The response could be given about power and control. Greed is like a cancer that feeds on itself and will continue its insatiable appetite unless some deliberate measures are taken. Greed can be recognized more easily in others than in ourselves, but its seed is in the unregenerate part of all our lives. Jeremiah made this general assessment, “Everyone is greedy for unjust gain” (Jeremiah 6:13). That is a warning for each of us to measure our own motives. “You shall not covet” is one of the commandments for productive human relations.
As King of Israel we might think Ahab and Queen Jezebel had everything. However, it was not enough to satisfy them. They exercised their power to take away the only thing Naboth owned, his precious inheritance. Judgement day always comes as it did to Ahab. Read 1 Kings 21:17-24. Greed is so insidious because it destroys not only the “Naboths,” but also those who practice greed. You can’t take it with you!
—Rev. Jean Richardson
- Are public personalities more accountable for injustices than so-called private citizens? Why or why not?
- Who shared with Ahab the blame for injustice?
- We often complain about the greed of public officials. If you were elected to a high office, would you be able to withstand the opportunities and persuasions?
- Did you recently read or hear evidence of acts of injustice in your community or church? What have you done about it?
How Do I Act?
- Ask church members to identify cases when the institutional church practiced injustice, both in history and in the present. Identify cases when your church “went tot bat” on the side of justice for someone being unjustly treated.
- Define “eminent domain” as a legal term. What do you and members of your church feel about that practice as a general procedure? Have a lawyer come and explain this term and its implications. Or “debate” the issue.
- Identify groups or classifications of people who may be the most likely recipients of injustice. What can or will you do about it?
- Make a list of justifications Ahab may have used in his own mind to condone his ill treatment of Naboth. Research Ahab and Jezebel. Bible commentaries, Bible dictionaries and other resources may shed some light on these people. Peculiar Treasures by Fredrick Buechner has short notes on these characters.
- None of us can cure all of society’s ills, but everyone can do something. What can you do to see justice prevail? Get together with others who feel this way.