Ps 16:4 says, “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god.” We can see a perfect New Testament example of just such a man.
In Lk 18:18-25 a young rich man came to Jesus and wanted eternal life. When he asked the Lord how to inherit eternal life, the Lord told him to keep the commandments [Matt 19:17]. When the rich man asked which ones, Jesus told him to keep the all the commandments beginning with “Honor thy father and thy mother.” He also added, “Defraud not,” [Mk 10:19; Lev 19:13] and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” [Matt 19:19; Lev 19:18]. He didn’t mention the tenth commandment, though. He didn’t say anything about “Thou shalt not covet.” Jesus didn’t mention the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” either.
It turns out that this young man’s possessions were his god [Lk 12:15]. When Jesus told him to get rid of his possessions, as a condition of inheriting eternal life, he went away sorrowful. It didn’t matter that Jesus said, “thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” The problem with this young man is that he trusted his riches for his life down here [Mk 10:24].
In 1 Tim 6:17, we were told not to trust in uncertain riches. Obviously, riches are uncertain and are, therefore, not trustworthy.
If you have lost money or wealth during the recent financial response to coronavirus, and you are sorrowful, do you know what you have just discovered? You just realized that money had become a god to you. Our money says In God We Trust. It’s easy for us to trust the money. “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,” Solomon said. I’m wondering if you were trusting God or the money. You’ll know by the sorrow you feel at the current loss of wealth.
I’m sure if money or wealth had come between you and God, it was inadvertent. I’m sure you weren’t even conscious of it until you realized that the sorrow you’re feeling is an indication that your wealth had become “another god,” [Ps 16:4] to you. 1 Tim 6:10, says when you covet money, you err from the faith and are pierced through with many sorrows. Ps 16:4 says that their sorrows shall be multiplied.
Often the Lord will have to take something away from you down here to draw you closer to him up there. If God has to rattle your trust in money a little to get you to fully trust him, that’s a good thing. In Prov 30:7-9, Agur was very concerned that if the Lord gave him riches, he would deny the Lord. He didn’t want that. And we shouldn’t either.
Therefore, if wealth has become “another god” to you, admit it and repent of this. And then return to God. Trust in the living God [1 Tim 6:17].