James J Dougherty


I am 46 years old single male living now in Tennessee,going to school, but I am willing to go wherever God may call me. I am servant hearted and always wanting and willing to serve the Lord in all ways. All is for His glory and purposes, and hopefully to brind people to Him before He comes for His bride. I am praying for missions trips too someday



Location: Cleveland, TN
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greed and coveting

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By: James J Dougherty
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                                    Greed and coveting

            Now the Lord wants me to do a bible study,discussion and teaching on greed and coveting, and how bad and evil they are both towards man and in the sight of God, and how much grief they have caused people who practice those things which are so evil to God. This discussion will include how it affected various different people in the bible, and such, as well as scriptures which speak out against greed.

First I will put in the applicable commandments here, using Exodus

(Exodus 20:15)  "You shall not steal.

Greedy people indeed often steal from others(often by cheating them)

(Exodus 20:17)  "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's."


I will add my comment to say that it is VERY unloving to your neighbor to covet anything of theirs,no matter what(who) it might be. Next up is the story of Achan, his greed and the consequences of it for both Israel as a nation and Achan, and even his family. When someone sins it almost always affects other people, not just oneself alone.

(Joshua 7:1)  But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel.


(Joshua 7:2)  Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, "Go up and spy out the land." And the men went up and spied out Ai.


(Joshua 7:3)  And they returned to Joshua and said to him, "Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few."


(Joshua 7:4)  So about 3,000 men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai,


(Joshua 7:5)  and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.


Because of his greedy action Israel was defeated in their first attempt to take Ai, and forced to flee! Then they found out what was up and the following scripture follows

Achan was found out and taken and the following resulted

(Joshua 7:18)  And he brought near his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.


(Joshua 7:19)  Then Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give glory to the LORD God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me."


(Joshua 7:20)  And Achan answered Joshua, "Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did:


(Joshua 7:21)  when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath."


(Joshua 7:22)  So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath.


(Joshua 7:23)  And they took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the people of Israel. And they laid them down before the LORD.


(Joshua 7:24)  And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor.


(Joshua 7:25)  And Joshua said, "Why did you bring trouble on us? The LORD brings trouble on you today." And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones.


(Joshua 7:26)  And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.


Achan confessed his actions that his covetousness and greed cause him to do this evil, and they found the items that he had taken , then they executed him and his family by stoning and burning for his misdeed. This is a good scriptural example of the evil consequences of greed.  The next one comes in 1 Samuel with Eli’s sons

(1 Samuel 2:12)  Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.


(1 Samuel 2:13)  The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,


(1 Samuel 2:14)  and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.


(1 Samuel 2:15)  Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw."


(1 Samuel 2:16)  And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force."


(1 Samuel 2:17)  Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.


Their greed was involved in taking, stealing, if necessary by force by the offerings intended for the Lord for themselves. It would result in evil consequences for the sons, Eli, and even Israel which are detailed in 1 Samuel chapters 3 and 4 with the deaths of Eli and his sons, and the defeat of Israel at the hands of the Philistines including the capture of the ark of the covenant.

Next, there is a verse saying how Samuel’s sons were also evil and greedy which made the children if Israel clamor for a king so much the more.

(1 Samuel 8:3)  Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.


His sons were corrupt and as such the people demanded a king in this verse. The next example is Saul and the people when they went up to destroy Amalek at the Lord’s command, executing judgment against them. They were meant to destroy all but they did not…….

(1 Samuel 15:9)  But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.


Against the Lord’s will they did this. Saul made excuses blaming others but never really did repent of this evil deed, so the Lord basically took away His anointing from Saul and wished that He had not anointed Saul king.

The next example in 2 Kings chapter 5 comes after Naaman’s healing of his leprosy. Elisha, knowing this healing was of God would accept nothing of it- refuting greed but look at what his servant Gehazi does, succumbing to greed and what happens to him:

(2 Kings 5:20)  Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, "See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him."


(2 Kings 5:21)  So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, "Is all well?"


(2 Kings 5:22)  And he said, "All is well. My master has sent me to say, 'There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.'"


(2 Kings 5:23)  And Naaman said, "Be pleased to accept two talents." And he urged him and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants. And they carried them before Gehazi.


(2 Kings 5:24)  And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed.


(2 Kings 5:25)  He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, "Where have you been, Gehazi?" And he said, "Your servant went nowhere."


(2 Kings 5:26)  But he said to him, "Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants?


(2 Kings 5:27)  Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever." So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.


For his greed Gehazi and his all of decedents were cursed with leprosy for their greed.

Now here are two accounts of Jesus and the vendors in the temple- one is in John 2

(John 2:13)  The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.


(John 2:14)  In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.


(John 2:15)  And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.


(John 2:16)  And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade."


(John 2:17)  His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."


Here is the other account in Matthew

(Matthew 21:12)  And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.


(Matthew 21:13)  He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you make it a den of robbers."


Here in Mark 11

(Mark 11:15)  And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.


(Mark 11:16)  And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.


(Mark 11:17)  And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers."


I am thinking that the episodes in Matthew and Mark are in a different year, later,  than the one in  John. John happened just after his baptism,at the beginning of His ministry and the ones and Matthew and Mark occurred just before His crucifixion, when He approached Jerusalem the last time at the very end of His earthly ministry. In Mark and Matthew anyway, implied greed was at the temple by comparing it with a thieves den. I guess it is not impossible that they could be at the same time but the placement in the gospels argues against it. These episodes combined with the stories in Samuel indicate that the greed in the temple has been around for like over 1,000 years for the situation with Eli was before even Saul became king. Here is a verse also to support the continual greed in the temple

(Jeremiah 6:13)  "For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.


(Jeremiah 8:10)  Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.


(Hosea 4:8)  They feed on the sin of my people; they are greedy for their iniquity.


(Hosea 4:9)  And it shall be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.


My last example of greed in the bible is the story of Ananias and Sapphira in acts chapter 5 where they sold a piece of land and brought part of the proceeds to the apostles but implied they brought the full price:

(Acts 5:1)  But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,


(Acts 5:2)  and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet.


(Acts 5:3)  But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?


(Acts 5:4)  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."


(Acts 5:5)  When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.


(Acts 5:6)  The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.


(Acts 5:7)  After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.


(Acts 5:8)  And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much."


(Acts 5:9)  But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."


(Acts 5:10)  Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.


(Acts 5:11)  And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.


These two were struck down dead, for they had lied to the Holy Spirit(and men) about the fact that they had not brought to the apostles the full price of a piece of land and had implied that they indeed had brought the full price of the land. The scripture also states that they conspired together to do this evil act, so both were punished.

I am going to go to teachings against greed now.

I am starting with a verse from Psalms- often the greedy want nothing to do with God.

(Psalms 10:3)  For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the LORD.


(Micah 2:1)  Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand.


(Micah 2:2)  They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.


Here is a proverb

(Proverbs 28:25)  A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.


Here are two more indicating the problems of those who want unjust gain,

(Proverbs 1:19)  Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.


(Proverbs 15:27)  Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.


Greedy people can use unequal balances in order to cheat and rip off people, by making a product that they are buying heavier than it really is to charge them more money, or what they are selling or bartering seem less in weight than it is. Both are tactics vendors can use to cheat their customers, and as such they are abomination to the Lord.

(Proverbs 20:10)  Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD.


(Proverbs 20:23)  Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD, and false scales are not good.


Jesus reminds us in Matthew that nobody can serve two masters, God and money

(Matthew 6:24)  "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.


Here are warning stories against greed in Luke 12

(Luke 12:13)  Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."


(Luke 12:14)  But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?"


(Luke 12:15)  And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."


(Luke 12:16)  And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully,


(Luke 12:17)  and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?'


(Luke 12:18)  And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.


(Luke 12:19)  And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.'


(Luke 12:20)  But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'


(Luke 12:21)  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."


The one guy asked Jesus to intervene to make his brother share the inheritance with him(Jesus wouldn’t then tells the parable of the rich fool, warning that those who lay up treasure for themselves are NOT rich toward God.


In Luke 16 is a parable with moral of a manager who was fired for wasting possessions yet is commended for his wisdom at the end:

(Luke 16:1)  He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions.


(Luke 16:2)  And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.'


(Luke 16:3)  And the manager said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.


(Luke 16:4)  I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.'


(Luke 16:5)  So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'


(Luke 16:6)  He said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'


(Luke 16:7)  Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.'


(Luke 16:8)  The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.


(Luke 16:9)  And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.


(Luke 16:10)  "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.


(Luke 16:11)  If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?


(Luke 16:12)  And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?


(Luke 16:13)  No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."


Here is a warning in 1 Corinthians 5

(1Corinthians 5:9)  I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people--


(1Corinthians 5:10)  not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.


(1Corinthians 5:11)  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one.


Here is a warning that the greedy are among those people who will not inherit the kingdom of God- beware and repent of any greed that the Holy Spirit might convict you of(see below for prayers to help with that)

(1 Corinthians 6:9)  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,


(1 Corinthians 6:10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.


Sadly there are both greedy people and swindlers today, and too many of them. Here is a good word from 1 Timothy

(1 Timothy 6:9)  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.


(1 Timothy 6:10)  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.


Sadly all the increased greed warned against often has these and other side effects

Here is a word from proverbs in Chapter 30 reflects by-products of greed

(Proverbs 30:11)  There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.


(Proverbs 30:12)  There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth.


(Proverbs 30:13)  There are those--how lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift!


(Proverbs 30:14)  There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind.


(Proverbs 30:15)  The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, "Enough":


And this is reinforced with this scripture from 2 Timothy which has a very similar message

(2 Timothy 3:1) But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.


(2 Timothy 3:2)  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,


(2Timothy 3:3) heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,


(2 Timothy 3:4) treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,


(2 Timothy 3:5) having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.


(2 Timothy 3:6)  For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,


(2 Timothy 3:7) always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.


Here in James is a warning about why we don’t have, and often God does not answer our prayers because He knows we want something of Him for the wrong reason.

(James 4:1)  What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?


(James 4:2)  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.


(James 4:3)  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.


He knows all, so we cannot hide our wrongful desires from Him at all.

Here is some good advice though in the book of Hebrews to be free from love of money and to be content with what we have.

(Hebrews 13:5)  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."


(Hebrews 13:6)  So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"


To sum up, greed is a very evil thing that has caused needless grief and sorrow for all those afflicted by it, be it the greedy people themselves or the people who are victimized by the greedy persons. Often times greedy people tend to be very selfish, only interested in their own wants and desires and not caring who they might hurt to achieve them.

Here is a prayer to fight greed so please pray it with me

Father, You are a gracious and generous Father who bestows on us bountiful gifts and sufficient supplies to meet our every need. When we get our eyes off that which we have and set our heart’s affections on material things that we don’t have we can easily struggle with envy, discontentment, and jealousy which leads to an ungrateful attitude. Thank you for the extras that we enjoy in life, but we especially thank You for the essentials that we experience such as salvation, eternal life and endless hope through Jesus Christ our Lord. Keep our focus on the hallowed manger scene instead of the hollow mall setting as we celebrate another Christmas this year. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.


Here is a prayer to repent of greed and a love for money so pray as needed and or led by the Holy Spirit, using I for we if needed

Heavenly Father, You are God and there is no other. As it is written, you ‘look to the ends of the earth, and see everything under the heavens.’ Nothing escapes your notice dear Lord. You sit enthroned above the circle of the earth, as the prophet Isaiah wrote, ‘and you stretched out the heavens like a canopy and spread them out like a tent to live in.’ We praise your glorious name. We repent for greed; we repent for ill gotten gain; we repent for the love of money and agree with your word that says the ‘love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.’ Forgive us Lord for any and every selfish thing we have done in relationship to money; for coveting someone else’s things, for jealousy, for identity rooted in possessions rather than in your presence and for every single way we have sinned against you in this area. We are sorry Lord and ask for your forgiveness and healing.

As you forgive and heal us, we also ask that you would do the same for our nation in this area of commerce. We stand in the gap for your healing light and presence. We thank you God that those who trust in you will never be disappointed. Our eyes are on you Lord, and together we stand on your word, ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.’ We thank you Lord for hearing our heart cry, for your forgiveness and for your help. In Jesus name, amen.

If you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit over greed, covetousness, or anything else for that matter, and/or you feel the need to cry out to the Lord Jesus to come into your heart to cleanse and forgive you and want to commit or recommit your life to Him, for He loves you so much, and wants you to be saved, and wants to set you free of both greed and coveting as only He can, please pray this prayer with me:

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin. You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved. Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved. Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.



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