A Biblical Prosperity Message (Part 1) by Michael Furlonger

Today, we’re discussing Biblical Prosperity.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about the time my best friend’s wife wrote me a love letter (linked below). I shared how if I took a letter meant for someone else and ignored the dedication (Dear So & So), I would get the wrong message. Not only does the person who ignored the dedication gets disappointed, but the person who wrote it and the person to whom it is written are left embarrassed.

This is in reference to scripture that we claim says, “I will prosper,” but is not meant for us. In this blog, I’m going to discuss a Prosperity Message that I’ve heard and share with you, what I call “Godly Prosperity”. Also, if you are curious to know more about the nature of God, you may want to read this further.

Let Us Begin:

  1. God created you in His image (Genesis 1:27). Let’s not split hairs on arguing, “Are you saying that God has blond hair and green eyes?” To argue this is to miss the point of the true nature of God in who’s likeness we are made.
  2. God is love (1 John 4:8). God loves you. I could list off a number of scriptures, from the Old and New Testament. But let’s recognize Christ’s death on the cross as a final representation of God’s love.
  3. God is a spirit. Not just Holy Spirit, but spirit itself. First Corinthians 15:45 reads, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam (Jesus Christ), a life-giving spirit.” Hence, we should not argue over the physical appearance mentioned in point 1.

    Keeping these 3 points in mind, let’s continue.

Many know the story of Joseph and the technicoloured dream coat. The reason Joseph was given the coat was because he was loved more than his brothers. He was born to his father, Jacob, in his old age, and the first to be born of the woman Jacob loved, Rachel (Genesis 35:23-26). This made Joseph and his brother, Benjamin, unique as they are the only two born of Rachel, of whom he loved (Genesis 29:15-28).

So, when Joseph was 17, Jacob made him a special robe (Genesis 37:3). Skipping over a number of verses specifying Joseph’s dreams, the brothers were jealous of Joseph. In their jealousy, they sold Joseph as a slave and told their father that he was killed (Genesis 37: 23-33).

And the story ends with Joseph becoming king of Egypt (Genesis 41:39-40). And that’s the message of how God prospers the Christians today. Now, you are left scratching your head wondering, “What just happened?” And if your life isn’t getting better, it’s because you lack faith.

The Meat Of The Story:

As the story continues, Joseph is sold to one person (Genesis 37:28) from the brothers. And that person would sell Joseph to a man known as Potiphar (Genesis 39:1). Verse 2 reads, “The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.” So Joseph prospered to become what? A slave. In verses 3-6, you will read about how Potiphar saw that the LORD was with Joseph. And how did Joseph prosper? He was still a slave. Best slave in all of the house, but a slave none the less.

Going back to the first point: We are made in the image of God, Christian and non-Christian alike. When people are looking at you, they want to see the very nature of God.

“When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.” (Genesis 39:3-4)

On the topic of prosperity, despite what is heard, you cannot prosper beyond the means of the other person. The best thing that Potiphar could have done was to make him the slave to oversee the others.

As the story continues, Potiphar’s wife started noticing Joseph for his physical appearance. She finally said to him, “Come to bed with me” (Genesis 39:6-7). Joseph refused (Genesis 39:8-9) saying that Potiphar has placed him as the greatest in the house. Joseph ends his protest with, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

Do you notice that Joseph is concerned for the reputation of God in the midst of this prosperity message? How often do people concern themselves with the reputation of God in the midst of their prosperity?

Again and again she tries to get Joseph to sleep with her. Finally, Joseph fled from the woman, leaving behind his cloak. Using the cloak as evidence, Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of attempted rape and Joseph was thrown in jail (Genesis 39:20).

This prosperity message has left our good friend, Joseph, in jail. We don’t hear that a lot in church, do we? We like the end where he is made king over Egypt, but we don’t like this part.

I’m going to end this post here, and pick up on Joseph’s journey in the next blog. However, I want to share one last thing:

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” (Genesis 39:20b-23)

This first blog focuses on the reality that we are all made in the image of God. Whether family members, your boss, your teacher, whether they are Christian or not, they will notice God in you.

You may want to read yesterday’s post:

My Best Friend’s Wife Wrote Me A Love Letter

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