Thankful? For What? – Prosperity’s Pitfalls
Key Bible Verse: “When you have eaten your fill … that is the time to be careful!” – Deuteronomy 8:10-11
Bonus Reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-18
The saying goes, “I’ve been poor, and I’ve been rich. Rich is better.” Those who’ve only experienced poverty are certain that plenty is more appealing. And those who’ve experienced both would probably agree. But the writer of Proverbs understood the perils that came with plenty. “Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs,” he wrote. “For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name” (30:8-9). A remarkably mature—and rare—attitude!
As the children of Israel prepared to enter a land of plenty, the Lord told Moses to warn them about the perils. In their wilderness journeys, the strict discipline imposed on them had forced obedience. And because the Lord alone provided food for them, they had no alternative to trusting in him. But once they entered the Promised Land, they’d encounter plenty, and were to respond in praise and thanksgiving.
But sometimes plenty provokes pride. The more successful men become, the more self-sufficient they tend to be. The wiser men become, the more thankful they are to the Lord who gave them success.
—Stuart Briscoe in Devotions for Men
My Response: In what ways have I trusted in my own successes rather than in God’s provision?
Thought to Apply: Prosperity constantly tempts us to believe we’re secure without God and that money can be an adequate substitute for real family values. —Robert Lewis
Adapted from The One Year Book of Devotions for Men (Tyndale, 2000)
Prayer for the Week: Give me a fresh awareness, Lord, of those gifts I’ve taken for granted.