Greedy people have excessive wants and insatiable desires for money, things, possessions, and worldly gain. They’re ongoing desire for more leads to excessive accumulation, retention, and attachment. The Bible warns against greed, avarice, and covetousness and gives a number of fitting examples. Here are ten you can peruse in your quiet times. I’ve included the Biblical text on the last four for you.
10 Biblical Examples of Greed
1. Samuel’s Sons (1 Samuel 8:1-3)
2. Saul (1 Samuel 15:9, 19)
3. Achan (Joshua 7:20-21)
4. Ahab (1 Kings 21:1-4)
5. Judas Iscariot (Matthew 26:15-16)
6. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10)
7. False Prophets (Isaiah 56:10-11)
Israel’s watchmen are blind… They are dogs with mighty appetites; (They are hungry, voracious, greedy dogs) they never have enough. (never satisfied) They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.
8. False Teachers like Balaam (2 Peter 2:14-15)
With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! (Their specialty is greed–having a heart trained in greed and covetous practices (Their minds are filled with greedy thoughts.) 15 They have left the straight way (They are headed for trouble) and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.
9. The Selfish Rich (Luke 12:16-21)
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. (was very productive) 17 He thought (and reasoned) to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger (larger, greater) ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself (my soul), “(Soul), You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night (tonight) your life (your soul) will be demanded from you. (required of you) YOU WILL DIE Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves (lays up treasure for himself) but is not rich toward God.” (is spiritually impoverished) [That’s what happens when you fill your barn with SELF and not with GOD.]
10. The Hoarding Self-Indulgent Rich (James 5:1-6)
Now listen, you [arrogant] rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth (riches) has rotted (Your money is corrupted), and moths have eaten your clothes (garments). 3 Your gold and silver are corroded (rusted). (Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut)… You have hoarded [and heaped] wealth (you keep storing up, and piling up your treasure) in these last days…. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence (a life of wanton pleasure). You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.