Monday, February 5, 2007

The Power to Create Wealth: It’s All About Covenant

And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is to this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18)
The power to create wealth is a very positive thing, a gift of God. And it is given for a very godly purpose: “That He may establish His covenant.” The covenant in view here is the covenant God made with Abraham, then confirmed with Isaac and Jacob:
Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be bless.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you and your shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of may nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:1-8)

Then the LORD appeared to him [Isaac] and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 26:2-5)

And the LORD stood above it and said [to Jacob]: “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and our descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, ad will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until have done what I have spoken to you.” (Genesis 28:13-15)
The covenant of blessing was not just about the expansion of Abraham and his descendants, but about all the families of the earth. So the power to create wealth is not given to the people of God just so we ourselves can be blessed, but so God can establish His covenant to bless all the families of the earth. That has always been God’s plan.

This promise is not just for Israel of the Old Testament, but also for all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul said, “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). We do not do away with or replace God’s promise to Israel, rather, we are like branches grafted into the main trunk of God’s covenant people (Romans 11:17-24).

As the people of God, we have a right to all the blessings and provisions of God. In fact, as the author of Hebrews tells us, we have been given a new and better covenant based upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6). It contains all the blessings and benefits of the former covenant—and more!—because it is mediated to us by the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose blood it has been made (Luke 22:20).

As the children of Abraham, and heirs according to promise, God’s plan still is to bless the world through us, even through financial means. In the financial context of 2 Corinthians 8-9, Paul offers this assurance to those who are willing to partner with God through their material resources:
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work … Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the see you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while are you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 10-11)
God gives us the power to create wealth, not just so we ourselves can be blessed, but so we can also become a blessing to all the earth, and that God may establish His covenant throughout the world.