Bro. Eddie Ministries: The Word Gives Instruction

Devotional
It is just right to think of ways to get rid of poverty. The sad thing is many would try to do schemes that do not pass the standard. They accept bribe. They resort to illegal means. They do what is unjust. They put their money on game of chance.

These are not the means for God to prosper us. He wants the value of hard work to be the force that moves us. He wants us to believe that He will bless what our hands work on. He wants us to trust that He will repay the honest work that we do. He wants us to wait for His reward while we work.

Why does it need to take time? Does He not want the world to get rid of poverty? He does. In fact Jesus told us to ask God to let His kingdom come. That His will might be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

No one is poor in heaven. Earth has lots of. And so why would wealth not come easily on earth if God wants His will to be done?

Being poor has its deep roots. It came as a result of sin. The first man and woman had shifted their allegiance to the devil when they obeyed his voice. (Genesis 3)

It was not just because they ate a fruit God charged them not to eat. They broke God’s command. They broke faith with Him. They forgot Him. Hence they gave the devil the freedom to ruin their lives. They did not know that when they obeyed his voice, they were turned slaves to him.

So God removed them from the place where all their needs could be met. He cursed them. There would be pain in child bearing for the woman and she would be subject to her husband. The man would work with his hands all the days of his life. (vv. 16-19). Worst, they lost touch with God. Does He want it? No. But He is just and holy. Sin cannot touch Him. (Isaiah 59:2). Hence, they could no longer sense His presence when they fell into sin. And sin passed through all men. (Romans 5:12). So did all the curses.

That is why it is not easy to live and to earn a living. That is why there are people who would resort to do evil or do what is unjust only to stay alive and to amass riches.

The writer of Proverbs says it well. “To show partiality is not good. Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.” (Proverbs 28:21). It tells us how powerful the basic need such as the need for food can be to a poor man. It can drive him to sin. He can be exploited. He can be used to pervert justice. He can agree to tell a lie or do anything in exchange of money to spare for food. To him, to meet the need to eat is urgent. Hence it tells us of the evil that poverty brings.

But do we know that the worst thing that poverty has brought upon men is the evil of not going to work? There maybe a lot of reasons like the lack of job opportunities. But people should not be crippled by this. They need to make ways to be creative and productive in spite of this situation.

It is a sad fact that there are lots of people on earth whose parents and grandparents choose to stay idle all their lives. They pass that same value to their children who will also possibly pass it down to their own children. Imagine how many poor people this earth had produced and is still producing!

God did say that man should work hard to eat. But He did not withhold the source to get them. Thus it does not make sense to blame God if someone is poor. Laziness would make a person poor. But hard working people have the chance to prosper. For “He who has a slack hand becomes poor. But the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4)

Proverbs 14:23 (NIV) also stated, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

Even Paul said, “…If any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

It is God’s will to prosper men. And how pleasant it is when His children, those who trusted Him and made Him their Lord, prosper in every way! (Psalm 35:27; 3 John 2)

But we must remember that God first made a way to meet the human need to prosper in the spirit. That is why Jesus said, “Do not labor for the food that perishes but for the food which endures to everlasting life…” (John 6:27)

Likewise He said, “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). He also warned, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)

Let us keep working with our hands while we strive to be rich in the knowledge of God. Trust Him also that He will bless the work of our hands. It makes sense to trust God particularly at a time when it seems that the wicked people prosper more than we do. God knows our deepest need.

Reflection:
1. Why is it hard to fight laziness?
2. What makes a man hard working?

There is dignity in honest labor.