Mar. 4, 2018

The blessing of the Lord makes us rich.

Proverbs 10:22-25 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.
23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.
24 What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.


In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul says:  I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.   Being content and satisfied with what we have is not a normal thing in our culture and society. We are programmed by marketing and advertising to want more. We are tempted by what is newer, faster, bigger, and better. Those who have much want more and those who have less also want more. The writer of proverbs says:  It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.
   It is not necessarily wealth or an abundance of things which makes us rich. Rather we are rich when we are blessed of the Lord. We are blessed of the Lord when we are content with what we have in and from Him. The psalmist says: Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) What is natural in our culture; to want more and to want what others have is contrary to the commandments of God, who says:  You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”  Not to covet things, any things may be the tenth of the Ten Commandments, but it is no less important than the others. What really happens when we covet things is that we violate the very first commandment:  “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them.”   Again, in Psalm 37, the psalmist says:  Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers…Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.   Being envious of and concerning ourselves with what others have and do does us no good. The psalmist says it leads only to evil doing.  

The writer of Proverbs also says:  What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted.   Why is it that it does often seem that what we fear does come to pass? We can think of it as fear being the opposite of faith. Fear is believing more in what we don’t want than what we do want. It is really having faith for what is negative rather than having faith for what is good. Faith is a powerful spiritual force. Whether we have faith for good or faith for evil, we empower that which we believe in. The writer says that the desire of the righteous will be granted. So, it is not that God will grant us whatever we want, whatever we believe for. God is not a Genie who grants our wishes. God is a good, loving, kind and compassionate Father who wants us to have all that we need. If we return again to what the psalmist says:  Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.  Our righteous desires are found when we focus on and worship the one who is righteous. Jesus says: “Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:25-33)   It’s not that God wants us to only have a meager existence, with just enough to get by, although we should be content with that in Christ. In John 10:10 Jesus says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.   The world, our society and culture works hand in hand with the thief, trying to convince us that we need more, leading us to evil, to death and destruction. How could we possibly need more than the abundance of Christ? If we will look at the examples Jesus gives us in creation, we will see that there is no lack. What has man done or created that can compare to the splendor of God’s creation? I would say there is no comparison. Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?   Yet, believing, trusting in Christ, we have eternal life.

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; I believe. I trust in You. I delight in You, in Your presence and Your provision. Thank You for the abundance of love, grace and blessings You have given me. I delight in You and as the psalmist says, I shall not want, anything.    Amen.