“Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:8-9
The American deception: get rich and have no need for the living God (Deuteronomy 8:11-18).
It has been said that poverty has killed its thousands but prosperity has killed her tens of thousands. How true is that statement.
How many times the Lord warned us of serving Mammon (wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion)?
He said in Matthew 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.”
Or to beware of covetousness:
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. -Luke 12:15
This is the hope of many when it comes to purchasing their lottery tickets. Yet, it doesn’t always end up the way that they want it to is for sure.
Proverbs 13:11 tells us, “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished” and “He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him” (Proverbs 28:22).
Let’s see the truth of the matter from those who have experienced winning the lottery.
Billy Bob Harrell Jr. had his prayers answered, but his luck ran out after he couldn’t say no.
A Pentecostal preacher, working as a stock boy at Home Depot, got his prayers answered when he hit the $31 million Texas jackpot in 1997.
At first, life was good with Billy Bob reportedly quitting his job, traveling to Hawaii, and buying a ranch, six other homes, and new cars. He donated 480 turkeys to the poor, according to Time.
But like many others who win the lottery, he just couldn’t say no when people asked for a handout. He also ran into financial trouble with a company that gave lottery winners lump sums in exchange for their annual checks, but it left him with far less than what he’d won.
Media reports from the time say he eventually divorced and died by suicide. Shortly before his death, he told a financial adviser that “winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
Bud Post lost $16.2 million within a nightmarish year — and his own brother allegedly put out a hit on him.
William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988, but he was $1 million in debt within a year.
“I wish it never happened,” Post said. “It was totally a nightmare.”
A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a third of his winnings, and his brother was arrested for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill him in the hopes he’d inherit a share of the winnings.
After sinking money into family businesses, Post sank into debt and spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector.
“I was much happier when I was broke,” he said, according to The Washington Post.
Bud lived quietly on $450 a month and food stamps until his death in 2006.
Gerald Muswagon ended up feeling sorry for partying.
In 1998, Gerald Muswagon won the $10 million Super 7 jackpot in Canada.
But he couldn’t handle the instant fame that came with winning the grand prize, according to Canada’s Globe and Mail.
“He bought several new vehicles for himself and friends, purchased a house that turned into a nightly ‘party pad’ and often celebrated his new lifestyle with copious amounts of drugs and alcohol,” The Globe and Mail reported. “In a single day, he bought eight big-screen televisions for friends.”
Muswagon also poured money into a logging business that failed because of low sales.
He was eventually forced to take a job doing heavy lifting on a friend’s farm just to make ends meet, according to The Globe and Mail. According to media reports, Muswagon hanged himself in his parents’ garage in 2005.
Ibi Roncaioli was murdered by her husband after she squandered her winnings.
Ontario resident Ibi Roncaioli walked away with $5 million in a 1991 Lotto/649 drawing, but she didn’t tell her husband how she decided to spend it.
When Joseph Roncaioli, a gynecologist, found out Ibi gave $2 million of her fortune to a secret child she’d had with another man, he poisoned her with painkillers, according to reports from the Toronto Star.
He was convicted on manslaughter charges and reportedly asked Ibi’s family to help foot the bill for her funeral.
Michael Carroll lived in the fast lane and blew it all.
Michael Carroll was just 19 when he won Britain’s £9.7 million ($15 million) jackpot in 2002, the Daily Mail reports. After winning, he used his money on drugs, gambling, and “Thousands of prostitutes only to end back up on the dole after eight years of living the Lotto life.
Carroll said The party has ended and it’s back to reality. I haven’t got two pennies to rub together and that’s the way I like it. I find it easier to live off 42 dole than a million. He sounds pretty chipper given the details of his story, which involves his wife leaving him and taking their daughter with her, and the loss of 100,000 over eight years in payments to prostitutes, among other rather grave financial mistakes.
Evelyn Adams gambled it all away in Atlantic City.
Against all odds, Adams won the lottery twice, once in 1985 and again in 1986.
The New Jersey native won $5.4 million, but AskMen.com reports that she gambled it away in Atlantic City.
Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer.
Adams said, “ I was a bigtime gambler. I didn’t drop a million dollars, but it was a lot of money. I made some mistakes, some I regret, some I don’t. I’m human. I can’t go back now.
Remember, it was Jesus that said “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Friends, lose the world and gain your soul (Matthew 16:26).
Remember, God’s moral law condemns covetousness (Exodus 20:17)!
And in Ephesians 5:1-3 you can see that the saints are not even to be named among them.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;”
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