The Potential Danger in Prosperity (3/14)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Deuteronomy 8-10.

Before entering Canaan, Moses issued a warning to the people of Israel of a certain danger they would face once they had begun to enjoy the blessings of the promised land.

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Deuteronomy 8:11-14).

Material blessings and prosperity, especially when they are had in abundance, can easily distract one from serving the Lord. Jesus made this point in His parable of the sower:

The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity” (Luke 8:14).

It is possible for our spiritual growth to be stunted, or our service to God to be halted, by the things of this life.

The irony is that these things which may distract us are often not evil in themselves. In fact, they are blessings from God. Sadly though, many allow God’s blessings to distract them from actually serving Him. We must  guard against this. Riches are not wrong. Success in life is not evil. Prosperity is not a sign of an unfaithful child of God. It all depends on how we use these things and view these things.

We would do well to remember the instructions Paul told Timothy to pass on to those who were rich:

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Trust in God. Serve Him. Use His blessings wisely.

Tomorrow’s reading: Deuteronomy 11-13

[I’m using the Chronological reading plan on the Bible Gateway website if you’d like to follow along, too.]


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Comments

  1. Excellent points. I think in a society like ours where comfort and prosperity are so common place, it’s easy to not realize we are rich in the ways the Bible talks about, where we fall into many temptations from our riches. Thank you for this reminder. :)

  2. Good point, April. If we recognize and value our spiritual riches, the abundance of physical riches won’t harm us. But when we forget our spiritual blessings, we’ll have problems, whether we’re rich or poor.

Trackbacks

  1. […] we noticed a warning about forgetting God in the midst of prosperity. Today we see another warning to the Israelites, but this one has to do with their worship to God. […]