A Different Kind of Prosperity

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Picture of coins, symbolizing material prosperity

In today’s Bible reading* (Psalm 106:5) we read of a different kind of prosperity than the Prosperity Gospel peddlers talk about.

Important note: Before I go any further, please hear me clearly say that all of the modern translations are very reliable. The English translation you hold in your hands (or read on your computer or on your mobile device) is as much the Word of God as any other. Please remember that because it is a translation, translators sometimes make interpretive decisions that aren’t the most fitting. That’s why I recommend if possible that you use several translations on questionable issues.

I compared several modern translations and most translated the word in question as prosperity. However, the Lexham English Bible actually conveys the Hebrew word as good. The New English Translation footnotes the Hebrew word good. The New King James translates the word as benefit.

The word in question in verse five is the same word used to describe God in Psalm 106:1, “Hallelujah! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good …” (CSB)

Application

It’s unfortunate that most of the modern translations use the word prosperity. It connotes financial prosperity. But I could only find limited reference to material blessings in the Hebrew lexicons (dictionaries) I consulted. One of the lexicons says, “‘Good’ is used in respect to a wide variety of abstract perspectives.”[1]

Paul told his readers that because their position is in the heavenly places, they should seek heavenly things. (Colossians 3:1)

I’m not saying that God will never give material blessings. He sometimes does. And when He does, He does so so that His people can be a blessing to others. It’s important to remember that no one will take material blessings with them into the life to come. Everything will be left behind.


Notes:
[1] Bowling, Andrew. “793 טוֹב.” Ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament 1999 : 345. Print.

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Psalms 106
John 1:4-14


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