Health And Wealth


If they listen and serve Him, they will live out their days in prosperity and their years in comfort.

~Job 36:11, REB


Christians take the scripture out of context to justify their actions and vindicate their cowardice.

~Randall Terry

The above verse is taken out of Elihu’s lengthy discourse. Elihu {He is my God} is your classic know-it-all. There is no doubt that he was intelligent and had command of many facts but he was definitely wrong in his theology. Like the ancient Jews, he believed that prosperity was a sign of God’s favor and that suffering was an indication that you were in God’s disfavor. Elihu was wrong. Job was not suffering for sin; he was suffering because he was a good man who God in His wisdom was using as an example. Think of the millions who have been comforted by Job’s experience. We have no idea how long Job’s crucible lasted: was it a year, two years or ten years–we don’t know. Due to the revelation given to us in God’s word, we know why Job suffered but Job was in the dark; he understood nothing. Why would God leave him in the dark? Why would God allow Satan to strip Job of all that was dear to him? For the answer, let’s go back to Genesis and the garden.

Adam and Eve were living in a state of innocence. I’ve always thought of this innocence being similar to that of a small child who will proudly round around the house buck naked and not be ashamed. Why did God withhold knowledge from our parents? Is knowledge evil or bad? No, there is nothing intrinsically evil about knowledge but it makes a really poor god. God wants us to live by faith, by trusting Him for every need. This is God’s way and it is impossible to please Him without this childlike faith in His love and provision. When Adam and Eve choose the fruit from the tree of knowledge, they were choosing another way– A way that doesn’t depend on God but on our logic and intellect. What we are seeing today is not knew; it is the same brand of humanism that we see in the Garden.

God allowed Satan to take everything from Job except his wife, life and faith. Why He spared the wife is a mystery to me. Job actually passed the test because although he was in the dark and didn’t understand his sufferings, he never stopped believing in God. Instead of suffering destroying his faith, it actually made his faith stronger, which means, the devil’s scheme backfired. So the bottom line is that God uses suffering to sanctify us; to make us more like Jesus. Which do you covet most, health, wealth or to be like Jesus?

One other note: Elihu is prototypical false teacher–a measure of truth mixed with a critical lie. This is why we need to study the bible as a whole and not focus on the parts that fit our earthy desires. Jesus was never wealthy. Paul was neither healthy or wealthy. I had an Oral Roberts disciple tell me that Paul lacked faith–If he had just exercised faith, God would have made him healthy and wealthy. I laughed in his face. Read the entire bible and don’t take a verse here and there: you are taking it out of it’s context. If you preach Elihu’s statement above as the truth; you are in error. Yes, it is in the bible but you have to study the context and Elihu was wrong.

Last week or should I say, the last part of last week taught us something. First of all, things can change in a hurry and secondly, we American’s seemed prone to panic. The panic and fear frighten me more than the virus. I hate to quote a liberal but the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. There are some precautions you can take like keeping the hands sanitized and gargling with a good antiseptic each night but other than that and prayer this thing is out of our control and we need to exercise some faith. Fear is not a good witness.

There is a bit of irony that goes with our present crisis: We are closing schools and churches but Walmart and the Restaurants are covered up. I can’t tell a difference with traffic on the highways–it remains heavy. I would think the last place that we would cease to go and the first place we should want to go is to worship. I believe that God is in control and now is a great time to worship.

The culture is in panic mode and I give most of the credit to the media. Let me give you some good advice, STOP watching the news–they are fear mongers. If this had happened 50 years ago, we would be going about things as normal. So settle down, the LORD has this thing in control. If it is His will to humble the world via this virus, there is nothing you and I can do about it. I am not being insensitive to the elderly or those with respiratory problems: I am border line elderly and I have respiratory problems. I am going to live today just like I lived this time a week ago, month ago or year ago–by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. Heaven will surely be worth it all. Amen!

Posting early so I can go home and work on my puzzle–a tough one: 1,000 pieces, round, and mostly white. I hope you have a great week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *