“I will give shalom in the land — you will lie down to sleep unafraid of anyone. I will rid the land of wild animals. The sword will not go through your land. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before your sword. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand — your enemies will fall before your sword. I will turn toward you, make you productive, increase your numbers and uphold my covenant with you.”-Leviticus 26:6-8
We are studying the list of blessings that come from observing YHWH’s Torah in Leviticus 26.
We should pay close attention to this list as these blessings concern us as well.
First, from verse 6, God promises that He will protect His people from wild animals.
This talk of wild animals is actually quite accurate because at the time the land of Canaan was filled with roaming carnivores like lions and bears who would attack both people and their flocks.
Second, the Lord promises if Israel should ever find themselves in a war with one of their neighboring nations who turn hostile, He will strengthen Israel so that they’ll easily be able to overtake any enemies who cross over into Promised Land territory.
Third, in verse 9, we’re told of a blessing that hearkens back to the covenant promise YHWH made to Abraham.
Namely, that Israel would be fertile and greatly increase to the point where their descendants would become as countless as the sands of the sea.
Finally, in verse 11, we’re told that the Lord Himself will dwell among Israel!
What an awesome honor!!!
What we have being described here is the relationship of a shepherd protecting his sheep.
If the sheep follow and obey their shepherd, the shepherd in turn will guarantee the flock’s safety and well-being.
Now I don’t know if you realized it, but these last couple of verses of Leviticus 26 we just studied contain the very definition of “prosperity” from the Lord’s perspective.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what it means to be prosperous under YHWH’s economy.
-Plenty of food to eat
-Protection from enemies and beasts
-God’s presence always with His people
Now notice what it does NOT say about prosperity.
It does NOT say prosperity is having several bank accounts stuffed with millions of dollars or massive real estate holdings all over the world.
It does NOT speak of a 6 or 7 figure corporate executive position in a large company.
It doesn’t talk about a closet stuffed to the hilt with designer clothing and other brand name accessories.
It doesn’t speak about 3-month long summer cruises on the Atlantic ocean, nor does it speak of an early retirement.
This is where the damnable Prosperity Gospel is completely WRONG!
These ridiculous TV evangelists will not only tell you that God wants you to be materially wealthy, but they’ll say you’re entitled to it as a child of God.
Don’t get me wrong.
There isn’t anything wrong with wealth per say.
But it is not God’s purpose or will that all people in His kingdom should become filthy rich.
God’s promise is that if we are obedient to Him, all of our needs will be met.
Our desires should be in align with what the Scriptures define as “prosperity“, not what the world says.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“So don’t be anxious, asking,
‘What will we eat?,’
‘What will we drink?’
or ‘How will we be clothed?’
For it is the gentiles who set
their hearts on all these things.
Your heavenly Father knows
you need them all.
But seek first his Kingdom
and his righteousness,
and all these things
will be given to you as well.
Don’t worry about tomorrow
— tomorrow will worry about itself!
Today has enough troubles already!”