Does Wealth Mean That God Blesses Me?

I have written before about the fallacies of the “prosperity gospel” which is so popular today.  This teaching emphasizes that God wants us to be rich, and that wealth is a sign that God’s blessing definitely rests on us.  But the following verse seems to debunk that very concept.

‘Ephraim boasts, “I am very rich; I have become wealthy.  With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin.”’ Hosea 12:8

Through the prophet Hosea, God warns against boasting about wealth.  This is especially true if we feel it somehow makes us impervious to the charge of sin.  Wealth is NOT necessarily a sign of God’s blessing – we can see this from the temptations which Satan can hold over us.  Indeed, when attempting to tempt Jesus, one of Satan’s offers was just this – all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  It seems clear to me that Satan has the power to offer wealth (for a time) and that he can use this to lead us away from God.

This is not to say that wealth is a sure sign of being apart from God.  The Lord Himself gave Solomon great wealth in addition to wisdom – He would not have done this as a temptation, but as a gift.  But what matters most is the topic of priority – where do we list our wealth in relation to our nearness to God and to serving in His kingdom?  While great wealth might become an irresistible temptation to us (as it did at one point with Solomon), it is not necessarily an evil thing.  Place God first – and if wealth follows, consider yourself doubly-blessed.


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