Short Meditations in Psalms: 1.3d Prosperity
Psa 1:3 Whatever he does prospers
Remember we are still considering the man who meditates on God’s word, day and night and seeing the various things the psalmist says about him. He has pictured him as a tree next to an abundant water supply, so that it grows and flourishes and bears fruit and keeps on bearing fruit. Now he adds this final thought – that in everything he does he prospers, he does well.
I am aware that we are about to move into difficult territory where there is often disagreement, so let’s try and keep it simple. Now we may have fears about prosperity teaching that appears to manipulate people to manipulate the Lord, going beyond Scripture but there is no doubt that in Scripture blessing or success is the inheritance of the righteous.
Our problem, so often, is that we equate prosperity with riches. For some people that may be but it is not a general mandate for all. Jesus himself never had or focused on abundant wealth although he was always well provided for by his Father in heaven. There are good sources that suggest that his family was well off, that many of the early disciples were well off, that the apostle Paul was well off. This doesn’t mean that they were rich but that they clearly had adequate family backgrounds.
Perhaps to see prospering in a bigger context consider Mother Teresa of Calcutta who lived a limited life financially but whose work prospered abundantly. Prospering means doing well and depending on the background and the circumstances doing well can include doing well financially, but in other cases it just means that whatever you do does well – and that may not be financially.
We should not be surprised at this part of the verse because it is completely in accord with the Law of Moses, especially that part including the ‘Blessings and Curses’, “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.” (Deut 28:1,2. see also v.3-13) What followed was a long list of the ways that the Lord would decree good for Israel if they followed His ways.
If we remember that God’s will is all about how to live as God has designed us to be, then it should be no surprise that His intent is for our good; He wants us to live as He designed us to live and when we do that we will know good, we will prosper, we will do well. There is nothing magical about it; it’s just how He has made us!