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Article appeared Friday, December 8th, 2017 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (503) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD


Amassing wealth, at any cost, may become a primary goal of life. Is setting up the goal a
thoughtful decision or something just as others do? Or do we first ask ourselves questions
regarding wealth? For example, can the possession of wealth make a human being immortal or
in fact, what powers does wealth have?

On the other hand, do we compare the reach and power of wealth against the power and
blessings of God? Can questions be asked? For example, are there blessings that wealth
cannot give? When a family is delivered a new member, who should we be grateful to wealth,
doctors, hospital facilities or God? When successful in any venture whom should we be
thanking wealth, our own intellect, the situation at hand or God? If we believe that wealth will
solve all our problems, have we compared it with God and proved disbelief in Him?

Do Holy Scriptures have anything to say about people who are inordinately attached to wealth?
The Bible equates money and God to two masters; one cannot be devoted equally to both.
"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted
to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." [NLT, Luke 16:13]
{1}

Alternatively, there can be two possible interrelationships one can either use his/her wealth to
serve God and His Purpose or use God to further his/her craving for wealth. Study the following
questions {1} is there an underlying concept of belief or of disbelief?
- When will God make me prosperous and wealthy?
- Why do people have money problems, even when they are serving God?
- Why hasn't God answered my prayers to get out of debt?

So, is the purpose of God just to deliver wealth and afterwards wealth will take care of
everything? If wealth is the answer to everything, is wealth effectively a god? Another Holy
Scripture, the Al-Quran labels people with such greed as being worse than idolaters,
You will indeed find them of all people most greedy of life even more than the idolaters;
each one of them wishes he could be given a life of a thousand years; but the grant of
such life will not save him from (due) punishment for Allah sees well all that they do.
[2.96]

Once the thousand years is up, can money prevent death or prevent any individual from facing
judgment for falsely accrediting money for blessings? To help understand, the Al-Quran relates
stories from human history to clarify the difference between benefits of wealth compared to the
power/blessings of God. We pick up Verses from Chapter 20 of the Al-Quran where God is
reminding the Children of Israel of His direct intervention and blessings and their subsequent
acceptance of Him as their one and only God.

20.80 O, Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy and We made a
Covenant with you on the side of Mount (Sinai) and We sent down to you Manna
and Quail:
God had, through a series of miracles, had not only saved the Children of Israel from the
tyranny and oppression of Pharaoh; He had drowned Pharaoh and his army. He provided food
in the new place Manna and Quail {2}. Having witnessed all of this with their own eyes, should
there be any doubt in their minds about who God is and the extent of His Powers as the
Protector, Provider and Sustainer? Of the blessings, God had it known through Moses,
20.81 (Saying): "Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance
but commit no excess therein lest My Wrath should justly descend on you: and
those on whom descends My Wrath do perish indeed!
Why should God be annoyed? If they ate, enjoyed the food and were grateful to Him, can these
be possible sins for God to be annoyed? On the other hand, if they complained about the free
food, took more than their share and hoarded food, did not thank God, or credited the blessings
to an imagined god how should He react?

20.82 But without doubt I am (also) He that forgives again and again to those
who repent, believe, and do right who upon reflection are ready to receive true
guidance.
Committing a sin is not the major problem not reflecting and not seeking forgiveness and not
seeking guidance is what can get us into lasting trouble. Moses (pbuh) rushed ahead of his
people eager to receive guidance from God and thereby win His pleasure. Therefore God
asked,

20.83 (When Moses was up on the mount God said), "What made you hasten in
advance of your people, O Moses?"

20.84 He replied, "Behold they are close on my footsteps: I hastened to You, O


my Lord, to please You!"
The Children of Israel had camped on the base of the mountain. God appraised Moses of the
situation He had tested their understanding and faith in Him.

20.85 (Allah) said: "We have tested your people in your absence: the Samiri has
led them astray."
Samiri had fashioned a hollow calf out of the gold ornaments that they had carried with them. In
Moses 40-day absence they had forgotten about God and turned to the calf in worship. So
Moses, upon his return, questioned their logic.

20.86 So Moses returned to his people in state of indignation and sorrow. He


said, "O my people! Did not your Lord make a handsome promise to you? Did
then the promise seem to you long (in coming)? Or did you desire that Wrath
should descend from your Lord on you and so you broke your promise to me?"

20.87 They said, "We broke not the promise to you as far as lay in our power: but
we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the (whole) people and we
threw them (into the fire) and that was what the Samiri suggested.

20.88 Then he brought out (of the fire) before the (people) the image of a calf: it
seemed to low: so they said, `This is your god and the god of Moses but (Moses)
has forgotten!'
The calf made a sound as the wind blew through it.

20.89 Could they not see that it could not return them a word (for answer) and
that it had no power either to harm them or to do them good?

20.90 Aaron had already before this said to them: "O my people! You are being
tested in this: for verily your Lord is (Allah) Most Gracious: so follow me and
obey my command."
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{Notes}:
{1} http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_money.htm
{2} https://newchristianbiblestudy.org/bible/story/manna-and-quail/king-james-version