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Bill Ferny: The Face of Greed

     "Bill Ferny's price (for his pony) was twelve silver pennies; and that was indeed at least three times the pony's value in those parts. It proved to be a bony, underfed, and dispirited animal; but it did not look like dying just yet. Mr. Butterbur paid for it himself, and offered Merry another eighteen pence as some compensation for the lost animals. He was an honest man, and well-off as things were reckoned in Bree; but thirty silver pennies was a sore blow to him, and being cheated by Bill Ferny made it harder to bear." (The Lord of the Rings)

Bill Ferny: The Face of Greed

Bill Ferny is as much like a man as one should like to meet as was Ted Sandyman. He is described as looking like he was part troll, but the real evil of Ferny was his greed. To satisfy his greed he sold out the whereabouts of Frodo and the other hobbits, and was instrumental in scattering all the ponies and horses from Butterbur's stables. This meant the only pony for sale was his, and he had created his own seller's market. Notice how he had no problem with dealing with the Nazgul, the ringwraiths of Sauron. Once sin enters a life and takes hold other sins follow close behind.

Do we see this portrayed in real life or in the Bible? Of course we do. How often do we lament over the big businessmen who have bought up some product or what-have-you, so that they might sell that same product back to the public at an inflated price? How often do we lament our own government for raising our taxes to do "such and such" only to watch them give themselves another undeserved raise? In real life we see the greedy Bill Fernys all around us. The end of these people is certain. Jesus tells the parable of a rich man who had taken in so much grain that his storehouses couldn't contain it all. Instead of selling it at bargain prices, which would still have netted him a profit, or giving some away to the needy, this man decides that he will tear down his old barns and build larger ones to hold the increased harvest. He presumes that he will then be able to lay back and take life easy. Jesus tells us that he is wrong. "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death. In contrast, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23)

It may look good to Bill Ferny and the rest of the greedy bunch at first, but the end leads to destruction ... always. The only way to escape destruction is through Jesus. One thing good did come about from Bill Ferny's greed, and that was the salvation of the pony he sold them. We can also be assured that while we face many evils in this world, if we are faithful in following the Lord, He will bring forth that which honors Him.

     "And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:16-21)