23rd January 2011, mgh
3) Blessing of sufficiency
Perhaps as a response to the awareness of the great dangers in worldly wealth, in Proverbs an appeal is made for sufficiency, an adequate supply for our needs, lest wealth or riches destroy one's faithfulness and dependence on the Creator, or, an appeal against poverty that would lead to crime.
Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. (Proverbs 30 :8-9)
Paul advises Timothy in the same way that one needs only the blessing of sufficiency, as wealth can be a snare that leads to greed and lust and even to sorrow.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (I Timothy 6 :6-10)
The Messiah also speaks of Solomon and the blessing of the provision of the necessities of life. The emphasis here is on the necessity of faithfulness, dependence on and trust in the Creator, who will provide for our needs and not on wealth. These are the important blessings.
Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12 :27-32)
This concept of trust is captured by the Messiah's words to his followers when he pronounced his blessing upon the children, who typically in their infancy are those who demonstrate those characteristics of trust in, and, dependence on their parents.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (Mark 10 :15-16)
Returning to the Messiah's promises in Matthew 5, we have the great hope which is beyond all earthly gains in our lives. We recall the words of the Psalms. The hope is of “salvation” and eternal life beyond the mortality of this life, in a world restored to its former glory. The Messiah sums it up this way:
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:5-6)
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