August 26, 2016 • By Ed Wrather
Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “TAKE HEED AND BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS (NIV – BE ON YOUR GUARD AGAINST ALL KINDS OF GREED), for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:13-21 NKJV.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. – Romans 1:18-19 NKJV.
God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness (GREED – NIV), maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful. – Romans 1:28-31 NKJV.
The rise in pharmaceutical company prices and profits at the expense of the vulnerable is shocking. The latest is the 400% increase in the price of EpiPens which is a lifesaving product many depend on. The price has increased from $56.64 to $315.82 (Today's Daily Oklahoman the price is now $608) since Mylan Pharmaceuticals bought the patent. Since then, the CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, has had a salary increase from $2 million to $18 million. Other executives of Mylan have also had huge increases in their salaries. Some Senators are now calling for a probe into this outrageous profit taking at the expense of the most vulnerable. If you are outraged by this too, you can sign a petition demanding the stop of this horrific profiteering at the Other98: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-epipen-profiteering-drop-the-price-of-this-lifesaving-medicine-now (Yahoo News 08.25.16 and the Other98)
There have been many great and wonderful advances in developing medicines for the treatment of diseases. However, when those medications are unaffordable what good are they? There are currently six HCV Hepatitis C drugs that reach cure rates of 96%. The cost of a 12-week course of treatment with these drugs range from $63,000 to $94,500; but, sometimes it takes a 24-week course of treatment. Just recently it was announced by some insurance companies that they will no longer cover the cost of treatment of HCV. No surprise there. Really, what good are the medications if most people are unable to afford them? (Info on medications and cost from: Healthline 02.24.16)
The definition for “greed” from Dictionary dot com is: “excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.” Looking at the outrageous actions of executives of pharmaceutical companies, those actions appear to go beyond simple greed. There is another word which fits these actions. Dictionary dot com defines “avarice” as: “insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth.” Executives for pharmaceutical companies appear to have an insatiable greed, greed that can never be satisfied no matter how much money or possessions that they accumulate.
At Sweetwater, Oklahoma where we lived for 18 years as I was the pastor of a church there, we would often pass by a large old house. I once asked who had built the house, and the answer was “Miser Stewart.” No one seemed to know his first name; it was just “Miser Stewart.” The pharmaceutical executives are far worse than misers. God has a name for them, and that name is FOOL! When their soul is required of them, those things they have accumulated will be meaningless. The “wrath of God” will one day be poured out upon those fools.
Focusing your life upon accumulating money and material things will only result in an emptiness that no amount of riches can fill. Money and material things cannot give you peace, fulfillment, satisfaction, and meaning in your life. Only by putting God in His proper place, proper perspective, can you have real life, the abundant life (John 10:10b) that Jesus came to give you. That proper place of God is first place. Put God first as Matthew 6:33 says and everything else will fall into its proper place. The life abundant will then begin to flow into every area of your life. You will then not be known as being a miserly fool, instead you will be known as “blessed” of God (Psalm 1).