|Riches a gift from God|
|Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00|
If God gives us wealth and property and lets us enjoy them, we should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God (Ecc 5:19). There is so much debate as to whether we as Christians should accumulate wealth. Some say, we should just focus our attention to God and set our eyes away from the riches of this world.
Those who hold that view are of the assumption that accumulating wealth as a man of God is not proper. They associate riches with demonic influence. Everything is credited to the powers of darkness for playing a pivotal role.
There are also some who hang to the view that the blessing of God should be demonstrated in material possessions. When we say God is a healer, the healing power should be demonstrated and people should be healed. If we say, he is the provider, he should provide for our needs.
There are some who go along with Matthew 6:33, which says: “Seek ye therefore first the Kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you”. People should instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.
The “things” denotes even the material provisions. Wealth should be a benefit to those who seek the Lord diligently. This is a clear testimony that God wants us to prosper though it is conditional.
We have to seek him. Seeking may denotes surrendering, submission to God wholeheartedly. Technically, wealth can be a measure of obedience to God. If we seek God, in retrospect he will bless us or add to us all our desires. In reverse, if we don’t seek him, nothing will be added to us and we became poor.
Wealth and property is what we sweat for the rest of our lives. We want our children to have an inheritance. So wealth is a reward and a gift from God because it is given to those who are faithful.
The Bible says: “If you are faithful in small things, God can trust or entrust you with bigger things; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones.”(Lk 16:10). Jesus went on to say: “If, then, you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, how can you be trusted with true wealth?
“And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what belongs to you?” (Luke 16:12). This is just a test of responsibility. Bigger things resemble wealth. Solomon believed that when God blesses us with wealth and property lets us enjoy them, we should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God. Solomon is not referring to people who acquire wealth through unjust ways. Wealth is a reward added to those who seek God.
Matthew encouraged people to seek God, and God will add in their lives all they desire (Matt 6:33). Everything we need lies in the hands of the Lord. The prophet Isaiah made a call to Israel. The Lord says: “Come, everyone who is thirsty, here is water! Come, you that have no money . . . buy grain and eat! Come! Buy wine and milk . . . it will cost you nothing!” (Isa 55:1).
In God there is abundance. God asked people: “Why spend money on what does not satisfy? Why spend your wages and still be hungry? Listen to me and do what I say and you will enjoy the best food of all.
“Listen now, my people, and come to me; come to me, and you will have life! I will make a lasting covenant with you and give you the blessings I promised to David (Isa 55:2-3). The promise was not only for Israel but also to us. We are the recipients of God’s purpose (the bigger picture).
The book of Deuteronomy 8:18 says: “Remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you the power to become rich.” He does this because he is still faithful today to the covenant that he made with our ancestors.
The instruction is we should never forget the LORD our God or turn to other gods to worship and serve them. If we do, then the warning today is that he will certainly destroy us. David demonstrated how we should use our riches.
He contributed in the building of the temple and he said: “Over and above all this that I have provided, I have given silver and gold from my personal property because of my love for God’s Temple”(1 Chronicles 29:12). He confirms that all riches and wealth come from God and that he rules everything by his strength and power and he is able to make anyone great and strong”.
People are confused. They do not know which root to take. I have advised quite a number of people who came to me in that state of confusion. God blesses the works of your hands. This means multiplication of my sweat. So if I work hard today, there is no reason why God should not bless me.
The cruel thing is that we have to pray for our business for direction. We make plans but God makes a way. If I try to make my own way, disappointment will be the imminent result. There are quite a number of books in the market which tried to address the issue of the so-called “prosperity gospel”. I call it “so-called” because it is not a gospel but philosophy of man.
Solomon’s experience and his testimony that, “If God gives us wealth and property and lets us enjoy them, we should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God (Ecc 5:19).
Solomon boasted of having accumulating all of the world’s riches to the amazement of many who came to see for themselves how God blesses human beings. The queen of Sheba testified that what she heard about King Solomon’s wealth was far less than what she saw for herself.
God blessed us with materials things, with gifts so that we may also be a blessing to others. God is not individualistic as humanity. He looks at the bigger picture.
People have a tendency of misusing the blessing we receive from God.
We use it to glorify the kingdom of the devil. Israel was found in such a situation. According to Hosiah 2:8: “She would never acknowledge that I am the one who gave her the grain, the wine, the olive oil, and all the silver and gold that she used in the worship of Baal as a result God declared that at harvest time I will take back my gifts of grain and wine, and will take away the wool and the linen I gave her for clothing.
God will strip her naked in front of her lovers, and no one will be able to save her from my power (Hos 2:9-10).
In Deuteronomy 8:13, Israel is given a warning shot that is also applicable to us today that hen your cattle and sheep, your silver and gold, and all your other possessions have increased they were supposed to take heed, and beware lest at any time they forget the Lord their God, and neglect his commandments and judgments and ceremonies, which he commanded them.