So far in this series, we have thoroughly examined the OT concerning finances and wealth. In this installment, we will begin exploring what the NT has to say on the subject. Most likely shocking to skeptics on this topic, we’ll start by quoting and addressing passages used by many to refute the prosperity message.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon. Matthew 6:19-21,24
Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13:22
Indeed, the single greatest danger of financial prosperity is the temptation to shift our focus away from Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith onto money.
Jesus’ parable warning of “the deceitfulness of riches” comes from the mouth of God Himself and should be heeded by all believers.
Continue reading “Divine Prosperity: Heresy or What? #4:
New Testament Warnings Concerning Riches”
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.
From Genesis chapters 37 through 50, we read the saga of Joseph. Most folks know this story from a gazillion Sunday School flannel-graph 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.
Continue reading “Divine Prosperity: Heresy or What? #3:
Joseph & the Children of Israel”
In the first article of this series, we examined God’s original intentions for mankind concerning wealth as well as the biblical accounts of some “fathers of our faith” who were fabulously wealthy and what God had to say — or equally importantly, not say — about them and their money. The last person we covered was Solomon, the man primarily responsible for penning the Book of Proverbs as well as the Book of Ecclesiastes. In this article, we will tackle these two OT books plus the Book of Psalms and take a brief dip into the Book of Joshua.
Proverbs is an amazing book because it is a book of applied wisdom. It covers everything from the importance of wisdom itself to applications of wisdom in areas ranging from child-rearing to marriage to work ethic to the power of our words, but — most of all — finances.
Even if you discounted or even completely threw out everything else I have to say in every article in this series while wholeheartedly embracing and practicing what Proverbs has to say about money, you will prosper financially! One of the most important ways of doing this is finding everything that Proverbs says “leads to poverty” and then not doing them!
Humorous? Yes, but absolutely true!
So let’s see what Proverbs has to say about what leads to wealth and what leads to poverty. Moving from the front of the book towards the back, we read the following:
Continue reading “Divine Prosperity: Heresy or What? #2
The Books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Psalms”