In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Genesis 12, 1-3
Memorise This Verse: John 10.10 ‘The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’
Afterwards Talk About This: What do you think the Lord might mean when he says through Malachi 3, 10-12 that He will open the floodgates of heaven
Something To Do Before Next Time: If you find this first study interesting, then before next time see if you can bring someone else with you; they can soon catch up with this lesson<
Written Diploma Work: Write one page describing the blessings promised to God’s people for obedience found in Deuteronomy 28.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Jeremiah 29.11
In the first three sections, a panoramic, historical view will be taken of God’s dealings with people from the earliest time of Adam to the consummation of history in the book of Revelation. As we gaze through the ages we can confidently come to a very clear and definite conclusion – namely, that God is the God of abundance and prosperity; and in particular it is his desire to see his people enter into his provision and desire for them.
The entrance of God’s word brings light (Psalm 119:130) – as we scan the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, the light of the truth of God’s word reveals his abundance, his provision, and his willingness and ability to ensure his people enter into it.
In the beginning we see that the world was formed and filled with provisions of livestock, plants, birds and trees and in Genesis 1:27-31 we see that Adam had been given the charge to rule over and subdue this large and plentiful inheritance.
It is worth remembering that the world was formed for the enjoyment of God and his people – it certainly wasn’t put here for the devil and his followers. The fall of man however saw the entrance of Satan and his intent was to steal, kill and destroy; the once rich inheritance is now invaded by thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:17-18). This battle that started long ago is still being fought out today; Jesus exemplifies when he says that he came to provide us with life, health, prosperity and overall well-being but the devil would come and rob us of our inheritance (John 10:10)
God reveals himself to Abram as the God of promises; he gives him seven of them – all centered around his desire to primarily bless Abram, and through him to bless the whole of the world (Genesis 12:1-3) – it would appear that in Abraham he found someone to accomplish the purpose that was first given to Adam. So great was God’s desire to bless Abraham (and ultimately the world) that he confirms his promise to him several more times (Genesis 15:1, 17:3-6, 18:17-18, 22:17); and before his death it is said of him that “The Lord had blessed him in every way” (Genesis 24:1)
As we move on to the time of Moses we see the people of God (and descendants of Abraham) entering into the plan that and dream that God revealed to Abraham (Exodus 1:7) – even when they were still in captivity. Just as Adam was given a large and plentiful inheritance – Moses is given the same goal set before him of a land of abundance (Exodus 3:8), as also Abraham had been given (Genesis 12:6-7). The Israelites don’t leave captivity as paupers – they plunder the Egyptians (Exodus 3:21-22; 12:36) such that God’s promise to Abraham is shown to be true (Genesis 15:14)
During the time that is spent preparing to enter the promised land and the Israelites are forced to wander in the desert; as with the time spent in Egypt, even in situations that are not in the fullness of God’s will, the mercy and grace of God is still present to provide for his people. They experience the on-going miracles of seeing food rained down from heaven, their clothes did not wear out and despite all that wandering, their shoes did not wear thin either (Deuteronomy 8:4 & 29:5). Constantly, the inheritance that was to be theirs was brought back to their attention so that they would press into the fullness of God’s provision: (Deuteronomy 5:33, 6:10, 8:10 & Joshua 1:8). In Deuteronomy 28 we see the clear statement that poverty is a curse and abundance is God’s will for his people – does this chapter not clearly reveal the good plans of God for his people?
Solomon can be seen as probably the richest person that will ever lived; and the reason being that it was God that prospered him. In 1 Kings 3:10-14 Solomon asks for wisdom, but as he later reveals for us in Proverbs 3:16 (remember that he wrote that scripture!), whoever desires wisdom also will find riches and honour; just see the results for yourself in 1 Kings 10:14-29. Talking of wisdom, what do the wisdom books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes show? Well, despite all his trials and hardships, Job 42:10-16 reveals that God’s final word on all that had happened was that Job should know prosperity once again, and even in an increasing measure. As for the other wisdom books; they speak for themselves:
He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. Psalm 25:13
The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servants. Psalm 35:27
You will eat the fruit of your labour, blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2
The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. Proverbs 10:22
Prosperity is the reward of the righteous. Proverbs 13:21
To the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. Ecclesiastes 2:26
Even in the captivity of Babylon, the Lord raises up a Prophet to again set before his people the good plans and the desires he has for them. People often quote Jeremiah 29:11 to show the goodness of God, which is absolutely true; but it is even more true and relevant as it is spoken to a captive, rebellious people ‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. Finally, after the captivity of Babylon, in the final chapters of the final book of the Old Testament we see God encouraging his people to co-operate with him so he can open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that his people will be overwhelmed by it (Malachi 3, 10-12).
So from the earliest chapters of the first book of the Old Testament to the final chapters of the last book, from Eden, to Egypt, to the desert, to Canaan and even to Babylon, we see the Lord encouraging and reminding his people of his abundance and prosperity.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Afghanistan
22,720,000 people, 98% Muslim
Taliban erected the strictest form of Islam in the world but chance now for the gospel
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.