I hear a lot of prayers for prosperity, but they make me wonder. Don’t get me wrong. I think prosperity beats poverty by a long shot. However, I have observed that many believers seem to handle adversity better than prosperity. When troubles come, we tend to look to God and cry, “Help!” But, when money and blessings abound, a mist often creeps up on us. We start thinking, I don’t need God so much, and we slowly slack off in our prayer and Bible reading. All the extra responsibilities that come with abundant provisions can choke our fellowship with God and His people. This happens too often…but it does not need to happen! In the Book of Deuteronomy, the Lord anticipated the Israelites’ desire to have a king after they entered the Promised Land. Kings, because of their lofty role, often found themselves surrounded by the temptations of prosperity. How would they serve God and the people as humble servants while possessing great power and wealth? Here is what God said about being fit for a king: “The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, ‘You are not to go back that way again.’ He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel” (Deuteronomy 17:16-20). God gave these commands so the kings could handle prosperity and still grow in the Lord. But, when you read the history of the kings of Israel, you discover how few actually obeyed God’s Word. Most failed the test of prosperity. God wants to bless us but how will we handle His blessings? Let’s avoid what God tells us to avoid and embrace what God tells us in His Word to embrace. This will enable us to be good stewards of His blessings and avoid falling into the deceitfulness of riches.
Pastor Mark Boucher