Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. Jude 1:11 NIV
If you have missed our discussions up to this point on the book of Jude:
The book of Jude warns us to be wary of people who “secretly slip into the church” and raise havoc with the house of God. We are in the midst of a discussion about the traits of these “secret-slipper-inners”. In verse 11 of this small book Jude compares them to Balaam a seer from the Old Testament Book of Numbers. He writes:
“misthos ekcheō planē Balaam”- Or ” For profit they run greedily having the same wicked mindset as Balaam.”
In other words for the “secret-slipper-inner” it’s all about the bottom line and the bottom line is most definitely NOT Jesus. The “secret-slipper-inner” is intoxicated by large crowds bringing large bankrolls.
Money is an interesting animal. It looks so cute and desirable from its properly caged boundaries. It beckons us to draw closer and to do what we have to to get more. But once we open the cage money is just as likely to spring out and rip our faces off as it is to bring us a blessing. Can I say that our focus in the church can never be success or money. Even as we are called to be diligent stewards with the treasure God has entrusted to us the focus can never be the treasure. It must always be God.
Getting God and treasure confused is what killed Balaam. He chose to help God’s enemies bring a curse on Israel for pay. This was a guy that actually heard the voice of God and was used supernaturally by Him. This was a man who actually had it from God’s own lips that he had better do nothing to harm Israel…and yet money.
The secret-slipper-inner has gotten money and God all mixed up. In his mind Mammon has become messiah and success is the savior. But God’s approval is not proved through balanced bank accounts or large congregations. Nor is it found in impoverished ministry and waning crowds. God’s approval is found in a heart focused on Him and that alone. Such a heart never has too little or too much.