The Spirit of Mammon
Now notice you see two words there: „devoted to God’; and „cursed.’ You can't have
them both - its one or the other. He's saying: this city Jericho - I want you to touch none
He said: I want you to conquer the city, and when you've conquered the city, whatever
wealth you find there, it comes into the house of the Lord. It is the Lord's - it is the first
fruit, the first portion.
Now you can understand, it's the same deal with the sheep. I've got all these battles, I'm
going to have to fight to conquer all these cities; and here's the first city, and now I start
to see gold and silver.
Maybe we're not going to win so much in the other cities. You know, there's a lot in this
first city. Maybe we could just wait until we've conquered three or four cities, and then
we'll take our portion and give it to the Lord then. We'll wait and sort of see how this
No, He required them, by faith. He said: “the first belongs to Me”. He required them by
faith to take what was the first, and give it to Him, and believe that if they did that, the
rest would all be blessed.
So that first thing, the first portion, the tithe or whatever it is that belongs to the Lord - it
either belongs to the Lord and it's devoted, or it's stolen from the Lord and it's a curse,
so notice what happens here in Joshua 7.
“Now the children of Israel committed a trespass concerning the accursed things (or
„devoted’ things), for Achan took of the devoted things (or the „accursed’ things), and the
anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel”.
Before he took it, it was devoted to the Lord. After he took it, it was a cursed object.
Now this is extraordinary.
That means, I can have an object - take this bottle here. So God says: you give me the
bottle, the first thing - and there's lots of water coming after this. I look at it thinking: I'm
pretty thirsty, I wouldn't mind that you know? I've been fighting all these battles , I've got
to fight this war, and here's all this treasure. I wouldn't mind that, you know? It'd be quite
good for me to have that.
I've got to decide what to do with it. The choice is always mine; so the choice is: either I
give it to God - in which case it's devoted; or I keep it - in which case it's cursed.
Isn't that interesting? That's what He's saying. He said: if you give it to Me, then it's
devoted, and blessing is on the rest; but if you hold it back, it's cursed, and now
everything else is cursed.