Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Brother Jim’s Understanding:
1) Nobody, not one single man or one single woman, has ability to bind himself or be bound as a servant or slave to two supreme masters or authorities: for either you will greatly dislike, detest, and abhor the one and you will love and enjoy serving the other; or else you will adhere to the one and disregard with contempt the other. You absolutely cannot (are not able to) serve and be led by GOD, and serve and be led by a covetous and insatiable greedy lust for wealth and its power at the same time.
2) It is not possible for any man or any woman, not even one man or woman, to serve or be a servant to two masters: for either you will greatly desire to ignore the one while greatly desiring to serve the other; or you will strive to closely stick to the one while striving to escape the other. It is absolutely impossible to be a committed servant and worshiper of GOD and to also serve with commitment, worship, and idolize wealth and its power.
Our LORD Jesus Christ now makes the direct comparison, the direct challenge, and the direct statement identifying that which most causes people to go astray: Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Keep in mind, ‘serve’ here means ‘be a slave’. You cannot be a slave, the sole property and servant of GOD, and at the same time be the sole property and servant of mammon. You must choose.
What is mammon?
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance tells us:
mammon (Of Chaldee origin (confidence, that is, figuratively wealth, personified); mammonas, that is, avarice (deified))
Mammon, from the Chaldean origin, can be understood as having our confidence in wealth and the things wealth can purchase for us. When we put our confidence in wealth instead of in GOD, we begin to trust wealth as our provider. This is sin, because GOD is Jehovah-Jireh, the Self-Existent and Eternal Covenant GOD Who Sees and Provides.
Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Furthermore, ‘mammon’ means ‘avarice’ or ‘avarice deified’.
The 1828 Edition of Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘avarice’ as:
AV’ARICE, n. [L. avaritia, from avarus, from aveo, to covet.]
An inordinate desire of gaining and possessing wealth; covetousness; greediness or insatiable desire of gain.
So avarice (the definition of mammon) is an inordinate desire of gaining and possessing wealth, covetousness, greediness, or an insatiable desire of gain.
Let us also define these terms:
INOR’DINATE, a. [L. inordinatus; in and ordo,order.]
Irregular; disorderly; excessive; immoderate; not limited to rules prescribed, or to usual bounds; as an inordinate love of the world; inordinate desire of fame.
1. A strong or inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good; usually in a bad sense, and applied to an inordinate desire of wealth or avarice.
2. Strong desire; eagerness.
GREE’DINESS, n. Keenness of appetite for food or drink; ravenousness; voracity.
1. Ardent desire.
INSA’TIABLE, a. insa’shable. [L. insatiabilis; in and satio, to satisfy.] Incapable of being satisfied or appeased; very greedy; as an insatiable appetite or desire; insatiable thirst.
1. Furiously voracious; hungry even to rage; devouring with rapacious eagerness; as a ravenous wolf, lion or vulture.
2. Eager for prey or gratification; as ravenous appetite or desire.
VORAC’ITY, n. Greediness of appetite; voraciousness.
These are a good number of definitions to take in all at once, but the purpose here is to fully understand exactly what ‘mammon’ is. Let us take a few moments to dwell upon the above definitions.
‘Mammon’, defined as ‘avarice’, is the irregular, disorderly, excessive, greedy desire (appetite) to obtain and possess wealth that can never be appeased, satisfied, or fulfilled; a desire that is so powerful it has no regard for rules, for law, for right or wrong, and views anyone who has what it (he, she) wants as prey in order to gratify its never ending appetite and thirst for more.
Please, dear reader, meditate upon this for a while and let it seriously sink in. Let Holy Spirit show you how this may apply to your life.
The next article under this heading will discuss The Deification Of Mammon.
Note: All Scripture is given in the King James Version, 1769.
All definitions of words in bold, lower case type are from the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
All definitions of words in all capital type are from The 1828 Edition of Webster’s Dictionary in order to get the sense of the words used by the translators as close to the definitions of their understanding as possible.