Saturday, November 27, 2004

Prosperity: Doing Good and Doing Well

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
  That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
  And whatever he does shall prosper.
(Psalm 1:3)
This is a man who is noted for what he does as much or more than for what he doesn’t do. What he doesn’t do is walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

(Notice that this is not about avoiding the ungodly, sinners and mockers, but about not walking in their counsel, not aligning with their path and not taking the position of a mocker. Choose your companions carefully because we tend to become like those with whom we associate.)

What he does do is delight in the law of the LORD and meditate on it at all times. It is his self-talk. It fills his thoughts. He considers everything in the light of it. He greatly honors it. He loves it because it reveals the heart of God, and it is the heart of God that he is after.

This man is established, that is, he is stable. He is fruitful — his life brings forth sustenance and sweetness. He remains fresh and flourishing, full of life and vitality. And everything he does prospers — moves forward, succeeds, advances, breaks out, comes mightily, goes over the top and is profitable.

As in everything, this is all about God, and God is good. So prosperity is about doing good. You cannot do evil and prosper. You may have a measure of success and gain by doing evil, but what you do cannot be called is prosperous. It simply will not last because it does not come from God.
The ungodly are not so,
  but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
  Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous,
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
  But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
(Psalm 1:4-6)
True prosperity is about doing good and doing well at it.