Prosperity: A Biblical Overview

Originally published on James and Dave’s Bible Page

Genesis 1: 28 God creates man, His highest creation, and tells him to take rule over the earth. For a home, God gives man an idyllic garden called Eden (Genesis 2:10). The name “Eden” means “delight, pleasure, a place where all five senses are satisfied”. In the original state which God intended for man, there is no poverty, sickness, death, or defeat of any kind. Of course, sin did enter the world, along with the curses that accompanied it (see Romans 5:17). In spite of this, however, God has always had a plan to bless and prosper His people.

Genesis 13:12;26:14;33:5-Abraham,Isaac,and Jacob,the patriarchs of the faith,were fabulously wealthy men,made rich by the blessing of God.

Genesis 31:1- The first time the word “glory” is used in the Bible, it is in referance to Laban’s wealth.

Genesis 39:2- Even though Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery, God still prospers him.

Genesis 41:57-Joseph’s prosperity continues, even in the midst of a horrible famine.

Exodus 11: 1-3; 12:35, 36- God delivers the children of Israel from 400 years of Egyptian slavery, with all of mighty Egypt’s wealth in tow.

Deuteronomy 8:18-God gives us the power to get wealth, that His covenant may be established in the earth.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14- Blessings for obedience to God include many material benefits.

Deuteronomy 29:9- God calls Israel to obey His covenant, so that they may prosper in all that they do.

Joshua 1:7-7-God tells Joshua that if he will meditate (Hebrew:”speak, mutter” see Strong’s # 1897) on His Word day and night and observe to do the Word,his way will be prosperous and successful.

Ruth 2:1,12-Boaz, a mighty man of wealth, speaks a prosperity blessing over his young wife, Ruth, who had embraced the true God, in spite of her pagan heritage.

1 Kings 2:3-4-David tells his son Solomon to walk in the ways of God,and if he does, he will succeed in all he does.

1 Kings 3:13-When Solomon asks God for wisdom rather than riches,God gives him both.Matthew 6:33 in action!

1 Chronicles 4:10- The popular Prayer of Jabez, which includes a prayer that God would bless Jabez, and enlarge his territory. We then read that God granted his request.

1 Chronicles 22:13- Another promise of prosperity for obedience to God’s Word.

2 Chronicles 20:20-Trust God’s prophets,and you will prosper.

2 Chronicles 26:5-As long as King Uzziah seeks God, he prospers.

2 Chronicles 31:21;32:30-King Hezekiah was one of Judah’s godliest kings. As he seeks and obeys God, he prospers in all he does.

Nehemiah 1:11; 2:20-Nehemiah prays for God to prosper him, and has faith that God will do so.

Esther 4:13-14-Queen Esther, one of the wealthiest women in the Medo-Persian Empire, is told by Mordecai that she has been given her position in order to deliver the Jews from oppression. A good Old Testament example of 2 Corinthians 9:8.

Job – Job was a man whom God had blessed with great wealth (1:3). However, Satan viciously attacked him, and Job lost practically everything he had. All too often, people stop here, and don’t read on to the end of the story, when God responds to Job’s prayer, and restores to him twice what he had before (42:10)! A powerful illustration of John 10:10: Satan is the thief, God is the deliverer!

Psalm 1:1-3-Those who shun ungodly influences and meditate on God’s Word day and night will prosper in all that they do.

Psalm 35:27-God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.

Psalm 112:1-3-Wealth and riches are in the house of those that fear God and delight in His commandments.

Psalm 122:6- Those who bless Israel will prosper (see also Genesis 12:1-3).

Proverbs 10:4-The hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 10:22-The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. The world can sometimes make you rich, but it will add a whole heap of sorrow with it!

Proverbs 11:10-11-When the righteous prosper,the city rejoices….Through the blessing of the upright, a city is exalted.

Proverbs 13:22a-A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens’ children. In order to do this, he must have sufficient resources.

Proverbs 13:22b-The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

Proverbs 15:6-In the house of the righteous is much treasure.

Proverbs 22:4-By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor and life.

Proverbs 28:13-Covering sin will block prosperity.

Ecclesiastes 3:13;5:19-To enjoy the fruit of our labor is a gift from God.

Isaiah 9:6- One of Jesus’ titles is the Prince of Peace. The Hebrew word for peace is “Shalom.” This word does mean peace, but in addition, it also means favor, health, wholeness, and yes, prosperity (Strong’s #7965). Jesus is the Prince of Prosperity, just like He is the Prince of Peace, health, and wholeness. Isn’t that wonderful? Jeremiah 29:7- Even as the Jews are taken as captives into Babylon, God instructs them to pray for the peace and prosperity, the “shalom” of that city.

Jeremiah 29:11- God’s plans for His people are to prosper us, not to harm us.

Daniel 6:28-God prospers Daniel as he serves the Kings of Babylon and Persia. Joel 2:26-God’s people will eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the Name of the Lord.

Haggai- The exiled Jews had been lax in their duties to rebuild the Temple. Because they had neglected the house of God, they had missed out on His blessing. Their crops were failing, they did not have enough food, and they were “putting their money in bags with holes.” (1: 5-6) God then tells them to gather the materials, and go build His house (v.8.) When they obey, God promises that from that day forward, He will bless them (2:19.)

Malachi 3:10-Unmeasurable blessings for those who are faithful in tithes and offerings.

Matthew 2:1-12: Even from Jesus’ childhood, we see the Father’s miraculous provision in operation. A caravan of Magi, wise men from the east, make a long journey to bring priceless gifts to the child Jesus. Researchers have estimated these gifts to be worth around $200,000,000 in modern currency.

Matthew 6:33-Jesus promises that if we will seek first the Kingdom of God,everything we need will be added to us.

Mark 10:29-30-To those who will forsake all to follow Jesus,He promises a bountiful return IN THIS LIFE,not just in Heaven.

Luke 6:38-As we give to God, He multiplies it back to us again.

Luke 8: 2-3- Jesus had a doner base of people who “ministered to Him of their substance.”

Luke 24:36-Jesus’ first words to His disciples following His ressurection were,in the original Greek,”Peace and prosperity be unto you.”(See Strong’s #1515)

John 1:35-39- Jesus had a home, large enough to have overnight guests.

(NOTE: This does not contradict Jesus’ statement in Luke 9:58, in which He says he “Has no place to lay His head.” The context of the Luke passage is seen in verses 52-53: He had entered a Samaritan village, and they would not receive Him. In this instance, He had no where to stay, i.e. “Lay His head.” This does not imply that Jesus had no home at all.)

John 2: 1-12- Jesus’ first miracle is one of pure luxury: He turns water into the finest wine served at the marriage feast.

John 10:10-Jesus came to give us abundant life.

John 19: 23-24- Jesus wore a seamless robe, which was a very costly garment.

Acts 24:25-26- Felix attempts to solicit a bribe from Paul,indicating that Paul must have been a man of considerable wealth.Why try to get money from someone who has none?

1 Corinthians 16:1-2-Paul commands the church to give as God has prospered them,indicating that God prospering His people was a normative part of church life.

2 Corinthians 8:9-Jesus became poor (by comparison to the treasures of Heaven) that we might be made rich. This could not be simply referring to spiritual riches, as the entire context of this passage deals with money.

2 Corinthians 9:6-11-Sow bountifully to God,and you will bountifully reap His benefits,so that we can have more to give.Notice particularly verse 8;God is able to make all grace abound to us,so that we have all sufficiency to abound to every good work.The Amplified Bible translates it “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance,so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [posessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation.]

Galatians 3:13-Christians are redeemed from the curse of the law,which includes poverty,as well as sickness and spiritual death. (see Deuteronomy 28:15-45.)

1 Timothy 4:8-Godliness is profitable in all things.

1 Timothy 5:17-18-Ministers are to be well paid,or given “double honor.”The word “honor”in this verse is the root of the word “honorarium,”and is connected,both by context and by definition,with financial support of the ministry (see Strong’s # 5092.) For more on financial support for the ministry, see Matthew 10: 10; Luke 10: 7; Galatians 6:6; Hebrews 7: 1-11)

1 Timothy 6:17-God gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Philemon 18-Onesimus was a runaway servant of a man named Philemon. Paul meets Onesimus, leads him to Christ, then writes a letter of commendation to Philemon. In this verse, Paul offers to repay Philemon all of Onesimus’ debts and back wages. This was no doubt a great deal of money. In order to make an offer like this, Paul must have been a man of substantial means.

3 John 2-The apostle John’s number one desire was for us to be healthy and prosperous as our soul prospers.

Revelation 21:1-22:5- God’s redeemed people enjoy His blessings for all eternity.

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