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God Is Good

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God Is Good

by George Bentch

In the November, 1998 issue of The Light, there is an excellent article by brother Jeff Foreman on A World of Wealth. As I read it the prophet Daniel came to mind. In Daniel 9:20 he wrote: "I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God..." We need to offer an apology to God for the conduct of this nation and pray for His mercy upon it to continue. Our nation has forgotten from whom its blessings come. No longer can it be truly referred to as a God-fearing nation.

In Deuteronomy 8 Moses warned the Israelites against forgetting God. He com-manded them to remember how God brought them out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, through the wilderness and now was about to give them the promised land. In verse 17 and 18 he said, "And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth..."

Our much blessed, affluent society, forgetting its benefactor, runs madly in pursuit of wealth, power and earthly pleasures. David warned, "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:" (Psalms 49:6-7). Solomon warned, "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with in-crease..." (Ecc. 5:10).

How often we see those who, having gained some of this world's wealth, are continually engaged in a struggle to gain more. Solomon continued in verse 11, "When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?" Many take comfort from the bottom line of their balance sheet. They forget that their balance sheet in heaven may be running in the red. Verse twelve tells us, "The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep." What comes to your mind when you wake in the dark stillness of the night? Do you worry whether the deal you are about to close will be profitable? Are you concerned about some-one cheating you out of some of your wealth? Does worry of such things rob you of sleep?

Solomon concludes in verse 19, "Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God." The things of earth are temporary. They are not to horde, but to use. Jesus warned, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21). The condition of our balance sheet in heaven is up to us. No one can add to or take from it. God holds us personally responsible.

The prayer of Agar expresses a much needed attitude. "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" (Pro. 30:8-9). If we misrepresent something to sell it for more than it is worth, are we not stealing? Such an act could put our account in heaven in the red. "What is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

In 1 John 3:17 the apostle wrote, "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" Did you read brother Raymond Stiner's words about the present distress in the Philippines due to crop failure? What did you do about it? If each of us who read Raymond's plea had sent him $10, it would have bought quite a few groceries and we wouldn't have missed it. You see, we can afford to help others. All big things are composed of many little things. If you can't do much, do a little. Jesus said a cup of water will not be forgotten.

Many years ago these words were written:

Many drops of water,

Many grains of sand,

Make the mighty ocean

And the pleasant land.

Our land is pleasant because of God's blessings. Sadly, most of us pay no heed to the words of the song: Blest with victory and peace, let the heaven received land, praise the power that has made and preserved us a nation. We do as brother Foreman put it, "live in a world of wealth." Let us look up and be thankful! —PO Box 628, Blum, TX 76627

 

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