Bible Verses

Psalm 23 – an anthem to prosperity?

I have been thinking about that much-loved part of the Bible that many of us are over-familiar with. It is actually a revolutionary text when you consider the implications of what it so simply, and poetically states.

We’re told in the first verse that, because the Lord is our shepherd, we lack nothing. This is David’s experience, and he’s so convinced about the ability of God to provide his needs, that he inspires us to believe the same. The Good Shepherd who supplies all his needs is the same Good Shepherd who cares for us.

However, there is an important proviso. This Good Shepherd leads and guides – he prompts and directs David into a position where he can experience God’s provision. If we find ourselves thinking, “Well, where is the God who promised to provide my needs?”, it may be time to assess whether we are truly led by Him.

Self-examination is good. It is Biblical. It has a clear purpose and goal: to determine whether we are living our lives in the benefit of the revelation God has given us through His Word, and whether we have a clear vision of His purpose for our individual lives.

Bible Verses

A plan to prosper…

Jeremiah ch.29 v.11 is a popular verse – it makes a number of specific claims, that the Good Lord has a specific plan for each individual called to serve Him – that the plan is in our best interests, that we can be confident that He is not perversely lifting us up in order for us to fail catastrophically.

But to me, there’s something else to give hope in the passage – it’s a call to return from a wilderness experience.

For seventy years, the exiles would feel that their prayers were unanswered, that everything they had worked towards was cast aside, that they were forgotten and cast aside like broken toys.

But then, they would perceive, He hadn’t abandoned them, that He had raised up a prophetic voice among them – that, when they had given up on being able to manufacture something spiritually unsatisfying on their own, and turned to Him wholeheartedly; then, and only then would He intervene on their behalf.

Then, the Almighty would make Himself known to them, would restore them in full fellowship with Him, would restore them on track to fulfil His vision, His plan, His purpose.