Born again – Part 22
“These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.” (Deut 6:1-3).
“FEAR the Lord” (v 2) Reverential trust in God and commitment to His revealed Will (Word). As His subjects, God’s covenant people are to render complete submission, allegiance and obedience to Him, out of gratitude for His mercies, reverence for His sovereignty, and trust in His continuing care. The fear of God implies total allegiance and implicit trust expressing itself in obedient service.
“Enjoy long life” (v 2). “that it may go well with you” (v.3)
What God desires for His people is not measured merely in terms of longevity—you will receive the covenant benefits. This assurance occurs ten times in Deuteronomy (4:40; 5:16,29; 6:3,18; 8:16; 12:25,28; 19:13; 22:7)
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 Jn 2)
“thou may prosper and be in health.” It is God’s provision and intention that we as believers be healthy and our lives be accompanied by His blessings. He wants all to go well with us, i.e., that our work, plans, purposes, ministry, families, etc., go according to God’s Will and direction. Thus, God’s blessings through redemption in Christ are intended to meet both physical and spiritual needs.
Concerning prosperity, both physical and spiritual, Scripture teaches the following: (1) The word here translated “prosper” (Gk euodoō) literally means “to have a good journey, to be led along a good road.” According to that meaning, John’s primary prayer was that as we walk in the truth of His revelation (vv. 3-4), we may continue in Jesus’ provision of abundant life (John 10: 10). (2) God promises to supply the needs of our lives “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).
(3) Although we should trust God to supply all our needs materially, we must recognise the Bible’s teaching that (a) we may sometimes experience need in order to be encouraged to trust Him more and to develop our faith, spiritual endurance and ministry (Rom 8:35-39; 2 Cor 4:7 -12; 6:4-10; 12:7-10; 1 Pet 1:6-7); (b) we may undergo severe distress because of persecution and oppression from evildoers in the world (Luke 6:20-23; Heb 10:32-34; 1 Pet 2:19-21; Rev 2:9- 10); or (c) we may experience poverty, due to national or natural circumstances such as war, famine, drought, or poor economic or social conditions (Acts 11:28-30; 2 Cor 8:2, 12-14).
(4) God’s presence, help and blessing in our physical lives are related to the prosperity of our spiritual lives. We must seek God’s Will (Mat 6:10; 26:39; Heb 10:7-9), obey the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14), remain separated from the spirit of this evil age (Rom 12:1-2; 2 Cor 6:16-18), love God’s Word (Jas 1:21; 1 Pet 2:2), seek His help in prayer (Mat 6:9-13; Heb 4:16). Work hard (2 Thes 3:6-12), trust Him to supply our needs (Mat 6:25-34; 1 Pet 5:7).
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