Question 139, from Sarah-Louise, United Kingdom
Some Christians say that it is the will of God for all believers to prosper financially, that poverty and lack is a curse and that our prosperity is contingent upon our obedience to the Word of God. Does the Bible actually say this?
I don’t think it does at all as plenty of non-believers prosper, people like Mother Theresa died poor etc but I don’t know how to back up my hunch scripturally.
This is a difficult question to definitively answer, simply because either view can be supported through referring to the Bible. Certainly in the Old Testament, key figures in Israelite history were wealthy as a result of their obedience to God. Abraham, for example, saw his wealth grow as a result of his faithfulness.
Others who were significantly blessed in material terms include Job, David and Solomon, and there are several instances of God promising blessing on the nation of Israel if the Law is kept. Interestingly, several of these ‘blessing texts’ are often used to reinforce the idea that true believers will prosper financially, often with little or no regard for the context in which God promises blessing.
Mis-using texts by ignoring contexts
A classic example of this is Malachi chapter 3, verse 10, which is often used to justify appeals for money, as ‘God will financially bless those who give their tithe’ . However, the context of this verse is (more…)