The Biblical view of quick riches and foretelling the future
Near my place of work, at lunch hour, I often notice people queuing up to buy lottery tickets. They hope that, with the little that they put down to purchase a ticket, Lady Luck would smile on them. Life on easy street may just be one ticket away.
Meanwhile, others seek the services of fortune tellers and soothsayers to be enlightened about their future and be assured that whatever they undertake will be blessed. Perhaps they also want to know how they can avoid misfortune by observing certain precautions.
In these tumultuous times of economic uncertainty, such practices will definitely become more prevalent. People want a quick fix to ease their worries on two important issues in their life—whether they will have enough money and whether they will have a rosy future. It all boils down to their sense of security—or rather, their insecurity.
For Christians who desire to please and obey God, it is imperative that we seek to understand the biblical view concerning such practices.
What does the Bible have to say on this issue? It condemns the worship of the false gods of Fortune and Destiny.
But you who forsake the Lord,
Who forget My holy mountain,
Who set a table for Fortune,
And who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny.
(Isaiah 65:11, NASB)
But you who forsake the Lord, who forget and ignore My holy Mount [Zion], who prepare a table for Gad [the Babylonian god of fortune] and who furnish mixed drinks for Meni [the god of destiny] (Isaiah 65:11, Amplified Bible)
Firstly, our security as believers should rest primarily in God’s providence, not on riches and self-effort (Matthew 6:33, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Proverbs 3:5-7, John 15:7, Philippians 4:19, 2 Corinthians 9:10, Ephesians 3:20, Nehemiah 2:7-8). However, it does not mean we do not plan and work hard.
Secondly, we should trust in the goodness of a faithful God (Jeremiah 29: 11) and not be so worried about our future that we seek to know our destiny through men who practise divination, which is an abomination in God’s eyes (Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:10-14).
Let’s not to be mesmerised by blessings that we forget to seek the Source of blessings.
The Psalmist enjoins us, “If riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10). It’s so easy to be bedazzled by the gleam of riches that we lose our heavenly focus.
God is not niggardly. He wants to abundantly bless His children, and often materially as well (Psalms 103:1-5). But wealth is like a two-edged sword. How many people can handle great wealth? Many get mesmerised by the gifts rather than the Giver. Joseph, who became the Prime Minister of Egypt, could handle great wealth for he did not succumb to greed, pride or sexual immorality. But how many modern-day Josephs are there?
Paul also exhorted the rich “not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God … to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:17-18).
“The same Jesus who promised an abundant life (John 10:10) warns against greed, citing that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
Let’s not be unduly worried about the future for it shows that we do not trust God enough.
God, at times, does reveal what will happen to us in future (John 16:13, Acts 21: 10-11). But, even if He does not speak clearly, we should not run after soothsayers. His Word is a lamp to our feet to guide us along the correct path. Most of the time, it is not a searchlight that illuminates the entire journey of our life for us to see (Psalm 119:105).
Seeking what the future holds for us should not be the primary concern for believers. Instead we should be seeking God for who He is—and entrusting to Him our future, no matter how it may turn out to be (Habakkuk 3:17-19, Hebrews 6:11).
When we are in right relationship with Him, our future is safe in His hands. We may not have full understanding of the things God has planned for us but we know He has our welfare at heart (Jeremiah 29: 11). Just trust and obey.
To conclude, when we worship God, we cannot compromise by presenting sacrifices on the altars of these false gods, Fortune and Destiny. He is a jealous God who hates competition.
To my consternation, the pursuit of Fortune and Destiny is not seen only in the world but also among people who consider themselves Christians.
Many years ago, I chanced to visit a church where the pastor was acting like a soothsayer. After the message, the members eagerly lined up to get a “personal word” from above. It was like the church’s version of fortune telling. Every member received a “fortune cookie” from him without fail. And the “word” he gave me was way off the mark. His other “prophecies” were either too general or sounded something like this: “God is going to do new thing”, “God is going to open doors for you”.
However, this does not discount the fact that there are true prophets who tell us God’s secrets concerning the future.
“For the Lord God does nothing
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
Lest I give the impression that that there is no place for personal prophecy (or word of knowledge), I would like to set the record straight that I have been personally ministered to on several occasions by visiting speakers who have absolutely no idea about my situation. But, on each occasion, the personal word hit the nail on the head. Once it happened when I needed specific guidance. On another occasion it was a specific confirmation that the ministry I was doing was pleasing to God. There was also a time when I received a gentle rebuke. True prophecy has its rightful place. But, as always, even something good can be abused and counterfeited. ( http://bit.ly/1iLgHYe )
C’mon, this anointed prophet is in town. You needn’t be confused anymore when you come to life’s crossroads. Don’t miss the opportunity. Get a personal prophetic word direct from heaven’s throne.
As long as we have breath, we are bound to have problems. We worry when our children fail to return home in the wee hours of the morning. We may be anxious about the prospect of being axed due to corporate restructuring. Or we may be overwhelmed as to how we are going to pay our hefty medical bills or fund our children’s tertiary education.
How biblical principles can help us attain financial freedom
DID CHRIST BECOME POOR SO THAT WE CAN BECOME RICH?
Christ became sin so that we might be made righteous, and became a curse so that we might be blessed. As an extension of this exchange principle, can we conclude that Jesus became poor so that we might become rich?
HOW TO QUICKLY ACCESS “PORRIDGE”
ABOUT Author: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (December 2008 – October 2011). He can be reached at his blog, Porridge for the Soul
For a quick overview: http://bit.ly/1ijiXHp
For the source article, go to http://limpohann.blogspot.com/2015/07/worship-of-fortune-and-destiny.html
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– Lim Poh Ann