Wal-Mart, Covetousness and Murder

By now, most have been made aware of the tragic, trampling to death of a Wal-Mart employee on Black Friday. Certainly our prayers are with the Wal-Mart employee’s family.

According to a New York Times article, a police officer called the scene “utter chaos” and said the “crowd was out of control.”

Another witness at the scene said the crowd acted like “savages,” and that “When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, ‘I’ve been in line since yesterday morning…They kept shopping.”

James 4:2 says, “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel…” When a man is given to uncontrolled and unfulfilled lust, the result, James says, is catastrophic.

“They kept shopping.”

The trampling to death of this Wal-Mart employee graphically illustrates James’ point. Like the men of Sodom who were dominated by their perverted lust (Gen. 19:11), these covetous shoppers blindly pursued their unbridled lust to satisfy their covetous cravings.

And, when the crazed shoppers were prevented by the authorities to obtain what they coveted, their response is quite chilling, “the people were yelling, ‘I’ve been in line since yesterday morning,’…They kept shopping.”

This holiday season is a great opportunity for believers to demonstrate and announce to the world that there is something far more satisfying than a “Red Tag Sale.”

We need to pray for opportunities to hold out the hope of the gospel. The good news for covetous shoppers is that unbridled, evil desire and covetousness can be forgiven and overcome, that there is something far more satisfying (cf. Isa. 55:1-7).

Black Friday represents all that characterizes this present evil age (1 John 2:15-16). Good Friday represents all that characterizes the age to come (Mark 10:29-30).

As we enter into this holiday season, let us be driven by the all-satisfying allurements of Good Friday rather than the titillating, empty, pleasures of Black Friday.

    “24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward,” (Heb. 11:24-26).

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