If ever there was a psalm to be the theme of the Prosperity Gospel, Psalm 112 might just be it. Unless, of course, you read the whole thing and consider context. You know about the Prosperity Gospel, don’t you? It’s the idea that God wants to give you everything you could ever dream of. Come forward, pray the right prayer, confess the name of Jesus, and you will find favor, promotion, and prosperity coming your way! It’s a nice thought, I suppose, but not a terribly biblical one.
Notice how Psalm 112 begins. “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments.” The psalmist then goes on to describe what life is like for such a person: mighty offspring (v. 2), wealth and riches (v. 3), an anchored position (v. 6), and a memorable legacy (v. 7). Obey God and we can receive all this? That sounds like some pretty tangible prosperity to me. Maybe there is something to this Prosperity Gospel after all, do you think?
And then we continue reading. This person is not afraid of bad news (v. 7). Why would someone even be aware of bad news unless it existed? This person has adversaries (v. 8). There are people and other obstacles which might get in the way of this person’s efforts to serve God and follow Him. Yes, this person may have some material blessings, but look at verse nine. We are blessed by God only so that we might “distribute freely” to those in need. This is where the Prosperity Gospel breaks down.
We are called to follow Jesus. He was the ultimate One to be blessed by God. And He dealt with bad news. He dealt with adversaries. He was required to give away everything He had–even His life!–and He did so willingly. The call has never been, “Come to Jesus and receive all you ever wanted out of this life!” The call is, “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.”
I don’t know what you might be facing this week. You may be dealing with bad news. Do not fear it. You may be dealing with adversaries. Trust in the God who is on your side. You may be focused on what you need to receive at this moment. Instead, think about how you can show generosity. Turn to Jesus and follow Him this week for His sake, and not your own.