Does the Bible Really Teach Prosperity?
When it comes to the issue of what the Bible teaches about prosperity, there are two extreme points of view: one that says that the Bible does not teach it at all, and the other that makes prosperity the main facet of God’s desire for our lives. Deuteronomy 28 should balance our perspective.
In Deuteronomy 28, God promised blessings upon His chosen people, preconditioned upon their obedience to Him: “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.” (vv. 1-2) .
In the same passage, He also promised curses upon His people if they disobeyed Him: “However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you.” (v. 15) God intended to reveal Himself through Israel as a testimony to the nations by abundantly blessing them if they walked in obedience to Him. Even the curse upon them if they were disobedient would testify to what life would be like for those who live apart from Him.
Similarly, Jesus promised that if we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, “all these things shall be added to you as well.” (Mt. 6:33) God promises to bless His people when they seek His rule in their lives. To live a blessed life or a cursed life then becomes a choice for us of whether or not we would follow God and walk in His wisdom and His ways.
ACTION POINT: How does this clarify your understanding of prosperity?
Prosperity then is not being a blanket blessing, but one premised on our obedience to God. Prosperity is not the motivation of our Christian walk; obedience out of love for God and fear of God is. By the outpouring of His grace, God delights to show people what He can do for those who trust and follow Him.
Let us look at some ways God has promised to bless His people when they obey Him:
1. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity – in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground – in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. (Deut. 28:11)
When we obey God, the home is where we experience the strength of God’s blessing as see Him strengthening our families and providing for them.
ACTION POINT: What are some concerns you have for your family? How does God’s promise in this verse speak to you? Respond to God’s promise in prayer here.
2. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. (Deut. 28:12)
Prosperity also means that when we work with God, He will open the very storehouse of His bounty and bless the work of our hands such that we would not be in need, but even be able to aid others. This gives purpose as well to the abundance God showers upon us. (2 Cor. 9:11)
ACTION POINT: Has God been blessing the work of your hands? Are you able to aid others as a testimony of God’s blessing over you? Is there anyone God might be impressing in your heart to help out of the abundance God has blessed you with? Plan on how you can help that person today.
3. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. (Deut. 28:13)
If you pay attention to God’s commands and carefully follow them, the Lord promises that you will always be at the top – where you have the peace of God, the joy of God, His righteousness and the goodness of His Kingdom. As you enjoy these things , people follow you; you are not just following the crowd. Influence then is also a mark of prosperity.
ACTION POINT: As you follow God, is His peace, joy, goodness and righteousness apparent in your life? Are people following you as a result? If so, describe how can you use the influence that God is giving you to bring glory to Him and to help others.
May God richly bless you as you walk in His wisdom and His ways!
Father, thank You that we experience the abundance of your blessing when we walk in Your wisdom and Your ways. Thank You that as we trust and obey You, we receive blessings of peace, joy, righteousness and goodness in our hearts. Thank You too that our families become direct recipients of Your kindness when we follow You. Thank You for expanding our influence when we trust in Your counsel and walk in obedience to Your commands. Thank You that when You prosper us, we are even able to be of help to others. May even the blessings You shower upon us bring glory to Your matchless name!