Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD brings wealth,
and he adds no trouble to it.
With a very small difference in translation from the Hebrew, the Japanese for this verse makes a major difference in the thrust of it, and it blesses me greatly. Going from the Japanese into English, it comes out as, “The Lord’s blessing itself makes a person wealthy; man’s labors add nothing to it.” This verse has been greatly misused in English by the “name it and claim it” crowd, who twist it to say that everyone blessed by God should be financially well off. That in itself is a violation of Jesus’ very clear teaching that “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34) Making finances our goal essentially cuts God out of the picture, because it means we are trusting in finances to meet our needs and our wants, rather than in the God who created it all. The Japanese translation also puts the emphasis on grace, and brings to mind Ephesians 2:8-9. We cannot add to what God does, we can only cooperate with it. This does not eliminate our faithful obedience, but it does eliminate our striving. If our goal is intimacy with God and obedience to Him, then He will indeed take care of every other detail. (Matthew 6:25-34) Someone who walks and talks with God on a daily basis has wealth right there that the financially richest people on earth can’t touch.
Once again I have the incredible advantage of having been raised by parents who operated by Biblical values, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always stuck to them myself. Many times I’ve had entirely unnecessary suffering because of focusing on the material and the temporal rather than on the One who supplies it all. That applies not just to finances but to everything about life on this planet. I need to press in to God more and more, not to be “otherworldly” but to have the right perspective on the world and everything in it. I need to rejoice in God and in the opportunities and challenges He provides, not bemoaning things that I see as less than optimal. They may indeed be less than optimal, but God has allowed them and that means He can and will use them for my blessing and His glory, if I will release them to Him and trust Him.
Father, You had me preach on essentially this message this past Sunday, and once again You’ve given me a practicum on what You’ve spoken through me. Thank You. As much and as often as You’ve told me to “rest, relax, and rejoice,” I still have trouble doing it! Thank You for the training of the past week. Help me extend to others the grace and patience that You’ve poured out on me, so that together we may walk in all that, and only what, You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!