KEY TEXT: KEY TEXT: Ps 78:23-24, 27-29 Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven, and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven… he rained meat on them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas; he let them fall in the midst of their camp, all around their dwellings. And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
KEY THOT: God’s provision to meet the people’s need for food was the manna. But quail meat was not on God’s menu. It was given in response to the people's crying and craving for meat. And before they could satisfy their greed, God destroyed the people with the plague: “But before they had satisfied their craving, while the food was still in their mouths, the anger of God rose against them, and he killed the strongest of them and laid low the young men of Israel” (v.30-31). God promises to meet our need (manna) if we seek first His kingdom and righteousness; but he never promises to satisfy our greed.
The danger of prosperity gospel is not because it says that God blesses those who obey Him. The danger is not helping the congregation differentiate need from greed. Greed is sin and it should never be encouraged in the name of faith in God. But if God blesses us financially, instead of thinking of how we can raise our standard of living, perhaps we may want to consider how to raise our standard of giving—to support Kingdom building projects.
Since the day I decided to enter seminary and quit teaching in 1985, I have clung on to Matthew 6:33 where Jesus promises to meet my needs if I get my priorities right: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” And in the last 30 years, He has never failed his promise to meet my needs. When we needed a car when our children were young, the Lord caused someone to pay for a brand new car. I don’t belong to the super-rich class, neither do I expect God to make me a millionaire to show how blessed I am, but I thank God that I lack nothing as I look up to Him for my needs.
My life priorities have never changed and will continue till the day I am called home with the Lord. It will always be to seek first His Kingdom (evangelism and equipping) and the righteousness of God (pursuing personal holiness and societal transformation).
Thank You Father that You always meet our needs when we put You first in our lives. Amen.