Abraham and Isaac; Assurance and Prosperity

January 10, 2012 at 10:38 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, False teaching, Security and Assurance | 1 Comment

January 10, 2012  Here is a thought from my devotions that should encourage us in our self doubts and reveal the fallacy of the popular prosperity gospel.  Those who say God blesses our faithfulness with material prosperity imply that those who are not wealthy don’t have enough faith.  That teaching leads to many self doubts among the non-wealthy; it makes them think they are not wealthy because of their sin or lack of faith.  As I read Genesis yesterday, it occurred to me that each time Abraham or Isaac sinned, the story of the sin was followed by a mention of God’s prospering them, yet Genesis never says they were repentant or even that they changed their ways so God would honor them with wealth.  It simply tells us God blessed them with wealth (you should read here “in spite of their sin!”).  In other words, God’s material blessing of Abraham and Isaac was a matter of sovereign grace and not a matter of faithfulness.

Notice the pattern:  In chapter 12 verses 11-13, Abraham calls Sarai his sister and not his wife.  In verse 16 Abraham was treated well for her sake and Pharaoh gave him livestock and servants; in other words, Abraham was blessed financially because he lied about his wife.  In verses 19-20 Pharaoh discovers the lie and sends Abraham away, but the very next paragraph (13:1-2) tells us that Abraham became even more wealthy.  When Abraham lied about his wife the second time, he was again blessed with livestock, slaves and silver (ch20).  Finally, when Isaac follows his father’s sin and calls Rebekah his sister, the discovery of the lie is once again followed by a statement of the man’s wealth (26:1-13).  In later years we could add Jacob to this list.  Though he and his father-in-law were constantly trying to out deceive each other, Jacob was made a rich man.  God blessed these men because he chose to do so and promised that he would.  He fulfilled that promise, not because of their faithfulness, but in because of his faithfulness in the midst of their unfaithfulness.

That should encourage those of us who doubt God’s promise because of our sin and unfaithfulness.  God keeps his word, in spite of us.  When the Bible says those who trust in Jesus have eternal life, it is true, even when we sin.

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  1. Thank you, Pastor Glenn — I needed to be reminded of this right at this time in my life. Donna

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