The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:…
The prevalence of error is often to be traced to the latent love of truth, and in sinful excess may not seldom be discerned the aberration of a nature originally designed for good. For just as forged money could never gain currency if men set no value on the genuine coin, and as spurious wares impose on the undiscerning only because of the desire for those things of which they are the worthless imitation, so falsehood and sin would have no attraction but for the deceitful resemblance they bear to the truth and goodness from which we have wandered. Let us, then, provide the true satisfaction for man's deep and universal desires, and he will turn with distaste from that which only pretends to please.
I. MONEY IS LIKE, AND BY MANY IS OFTEN UNCONSCIOUSLY MISTAKEN FOR, GOD. Man is made for God, but there are certain superficial similarities between it and God which secretly persuade the heart that that divinity of which it is in search it will find in wealth. If we try to think how money is like God, may it not be said to possess a certain shadowy resemblance of His omnipotence; a strange mimicry of His omnipresence, His boundless beneficence, His providence, His power over the future, His capacity, not only to procure for us an endless variety of blessings, to give us all that our hearts can desire, but also to become in and for Himself, apart from all that He can give us, an object of independent delight; so that it is happiness to know and feel that He is ours? Now, money seems able to do and be all this, and nothing but the true love of God can drive it out of our minds.
II. BUT IT IS A PRETENCE AFTER ALL. For the soul cannot rest in the material and the outward; nor in the limited and perishable and that which abideth not. But all this is true of wealth, and therefore it can only be a false god at the best. God, and God alone, is sufficient for the happiness of the soul which, in His own image, He hath made.
(John Caird, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: