Divine Prosperity: Heresy or What? #3 — The Children of Israel

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In the first 2 installments in this series, we have explored the origins of poverty, several biblical patriarchs and their relationship to money, as well as what the “wisdom books” of the OT have to say on the topic of finances. In this article, we will explore God’s dealings with the nation of Israel beginning with Joseph in Egypt and ending with them in the Promised Land.

Joseph

From Genesis chapters 37 through 50, we read the saga of Joseph. Most folks know this story from a gazillion Sunday School presentations, so I will summarize it here.

Joseph was sold into slavery because his older brothers hated him, he ended up in Egypt, rose to be chief steward of a rich Egyptian’s household where he was later falsely accused of attempted rape by the Egyptian master’s horny wife, and then ended up in prison for it. While there, his godly wisdom was so impressive, he became the lead prisoner in the jail. After awhile, his ability to interpret dreams came to the attention of Pharaoh, who had a dream his pagan advisors could not interpret. Joseph was able to correctly interpret that dream and, as a reward, was promoted from prison to be the prime minister of Egypt. Joseph successfully prepared the kingdom for a coming famine and, as that famine spread throughout the Middle East, his father Jacob sent his older brothers to seek food in Egypt. Though he was in a position to wreak major revenge upon his brothers, Joseph dealt with them mercifully and, after it was all said and done, the entire family emigrated to Egypt in order to survive the famine.

Some quick points here and then we will move on.

  • Joseph maintained a righteous lifestyle and good attitude despite the many major injustices inflicted upon him, never becoming vengeful or bitter, though he had every right to be.
  • It seems that Joseph never got mad at God, blaming Him for his misfortunes when everything went south on him.
  • Because he exhibited diligence and godly wisdom in all his dealings, he consistently rose to prominence wherever he found himself, even in prison.
  • Though Joseph had to endure lengthy periods of poverty, God eventually redeemed him out of them all, finally exalting him to a place where poverty was never again an issue.

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