Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Possessing the Prosperity of God

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families.
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity.
But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
(Psalm 68:5-6)
Here we see the prosperity of God. It is a prosperity birthed in love, because God IS love.

We often think of prosperity in terms of finances. Think bigger. Prosperity certainly includes finances, but is by no means limited to them.

In this psalm, we discover that the prosperity of God toward the fatherless is to be a father to them. There may be many ways a person becomes fatherless: through death, through imprisonment, through abandonment, through abuse, even through neglect. But God will be a Father to all who turn to Him, for that is His nature and the tenderness of His heart. The essence of fatherhood is inheritance. Because God becomes father to all who turn to Him, they find their inheritance in Him.

The prosperity of God toward widows is that He becomes their defender, their provider, their advocate in every situation. God is all about being a husband. For example, Israel is spoken of as His wife, so much so that, when she strayed by following after other gods or turning her trust toward the nations, it was seen as an act of betrayal and infidelity, even adultery. The passion of God for His bride is dramatically portrayed in the Song of Songs, a poem of deep intimacy and tenderness. In the New Testament, we see Christ and His bride, the Church.

The prosperity of God toward the lonely is to bring them into families, into community, into fellowship. He sets them into relationship within a house, which speaks of purpose and destiny.

The purpose of God is to free all those who are bound, whether by emotional bondage, cursed lives, poverty or lack, even sickness. He brings them out to prosperity — freedom, stability, blessing, provision, and health. The Apostle John, who had a profound revelation of the love of God, demonstrated that love when he said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).

The prosperity of God begins with the inner man, the heart. That is why the last line in our text says, “But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” The rebellious is the one who has turned away from God. He has hardened his heart against the Father. He dwells in a desert land, not because of God’s unwillingness to bless, but because of his own unwillingness to receive. His heart and his hand are closed toward the very source of life and blessing.

It is a holy habitation to which we are called. All those who answer that call, who turn to the Father heart of God, who commit themselves to Him, will find in Him their Father, their Husband, their place of belonging, and their source of freedom and blessing. They will experience His tender mercies and the sweet intimacy of His presence, and they will become the possessors of His glory.