The Apostle Paul – “Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
God has always blessed some people with the ability to make money. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses commanded the Israelites, “Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful…” (Deuteronomy 8:18). Taken by itself, this verse sounds like a blessing. However, Moses actually spoke them to the Israelites as they were about to enter the Promised Land. He fully expected them to conquer the inhabitants of the land and to become successful people in the land flowing with milk and honey. In many ways, that is the concern that seems to be most plaguing his thoughts.
Look back at the earlier words spoken by Moses to the Israelites: “Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” (Deuteronomy 8:11-18) You can almost sense Moses’ concern for the Israelites in this scripture. By this time, he has lived with them for a long time. He doesn’t want them to become prideful, forget all the Lord has done for them, and take the credit themselves for God’s blessings, and neglect to follow the Lord.
All throughout the Bible we learn that pursuing and achieving wealth can make us prideful. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon, the wise and wealthy king, writes, “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10) In the parable of the sower, Jesus said, “The seed that fell among thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth.” (Matthew 13:22) Here, Jesus is communicating that income and possessions can easily give us a false sense of superiority, self-sufficiency, and security. The Apostle Paul echoes this concern with evidence when he writes “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction… And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
The Lord wants to bless us, but He understands that wealth can have a downside. If we’re not careful, we can become prideful and place ourselves as the god of our own lives. How devastating that would be.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
In your journal or on a piece of paper, write out a testimony of how the Lord has provided for you in your life financially or materially. Beneath your list, write out a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for who He is and for His blessings in your life. If you’re leading your family through this devotion time, lead them to do the same exercise as above, but as a family group. Then, read your written prayer in unison, giving praise to the Lord for all He has done
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, Thank You for Your blessings in my life. Help me never confuse them or myself with You, the ultimate Provider of all that I am and have. In the name of Jesus, Amen.