On May 4th, we will finish the Old Testament !!
Everyone is invited to join us at our regular time and place – 7:00 PM in the Legacy Room at Chase Oaks Church in Plano.
If you are not in the area or unable to make it, then we would love you to join us online! We will be streaming the study live again this week. Just head over to bibleprinciples.org/live
Make sure to grab the handout at the top of the page and follow along.
We will begin at 7pm Central time.
If you missed our last livestream we are archiving them on our YouTube Channel
Today, many people regard poverty as being one of the greatest causes of crime and violence. However, their reasoning fails to explain why many of the most poverty-stricken places on earth are relatively peaceful. In fact, during past historic cycles of famine in India, poor people starved to death within easy reach of food that would have kept them alive had they chosen to steal it.
In the Bible we find that the greatest danger that ancient Israel faced was not the imminent threat of opposing military forces – whether those of the Pharaoh, Canaanites, Assyrians or Babylonians. Rather, it was their prosperity:
When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery (Deuteronomy 8:12-14).
Their loss of proper priorities was primarily the result of pride as I explain in my Life EssentialsStudy Bible, Principle #12, p. 232 in Deuteronomy:
We are always to remember that God is the divine Source of our material blessings … This lesson certainly applies to many today who have received material gifts and have also been able to multiply them. It’s easy to focus on our material blessings and forget God and say – by our actions if not with our words – “We did this ourselves.”
As I explain in the “Reflection and Response” that follows, it isn’t wrong to have and to enjoy material blessings. Nevertheless, it is possible for our prosperity to lead us away from God perhaps more easily than our poverty.
Consider the amazing description of events at the end of a thousand years of the prosperous, peaceful reign of Jesus Christ:
When the 1,000 years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. They came up over the surface of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them (Revelation 20: 7-9).
What will make it possible for Satan to cause this massive rebellion at the end of the Millennium? As with ancient Israel, I believe it is pride!
Thankfully, as Christians, we have a powerful safeguard against this kind of behavior, namely, the discipline of the Lord as we read in the book of Hebrews:
My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or faint when you are reproved by Him, for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives (Hebrews 12: 5-6).
It is evidence of God’s love as I explain in my Life Essentials Study Bible, Principle #19, p. 1723 in Hebrews:
Whenever we walk out of God’s will, we should be reassured that we are His children when we experience His discipline in our lives.
Life Essentials Study Bible
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