Psalms 112: A Means to an End
I know I have written about the prosperity gospel before, and I have a feeling that the beginning of Psalms 112 must be a good passage for them to try to use in support of their position.
Psa 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
Psa 112:2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
Psa 112:3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
I have to admit that it seems an awful lot like there is a cause and effect here. If you follow God and really desire to follow His commandments, your house will receive wealth and riches. Not only that, but at some level, I think we all want that interpretation to be true. Some of us might not have as much money as we want, and this passage seems to provide a way out of poverty. If we simply follow God (which isn’t all that simple), we can escape poverty.
It is no wonder that the prosperity gospel is so popular. That is what people want. People often want financial gain. However, I think that we need to be very careful with this kind of teaching, and we can easily take this to a place where it is no longer Biblical.
We can end up in a contradictory position here. The attitude I outlined before is problematic if our motive for following God is simply based on what we can get. Money has then become our idol, and that means that we are not following the commandments of God mentioned in verse one of the Psalm which means that we will never make it to the reward part if that vision of prosperity is true.
I think that this is the biggest potential downfall of the prosperity gospel. It can very easily lead us into a place where we think about God as a means to an end rather than an end Himself. We can think that we follow God because it will lead to prosperity, but that is not the right perspective. We follow God because He deserves our praise, and while He does bless us in a variety of ways, He is not like a vending machine that we use simply to get what we want. We don’t only follow God because He blesses us in particular ways. That is why this kind of thinking can be dangerous if you take it too far.