‘God sent Jesus to BLESS us. In every way.’
He did indeed, William, but affluence is not a blessing. Within limits and subject to a spirit of detachment, it may be of neutral value, but more commonly it is of negative spiritual value, since a spirit of Christian detachment is not propitious to the accumulation of wealth. ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart is.’
Unless you have a particular aptitude for it, money is not at all easy to generate; less so than ever, today, the less you start with, since the monied people in the West have colluded, wittingly or not, but certainly illegally, in polarizing the wealth of Western nations in what was their already-excessive favour.
Read this linked article.
However, it looks like a divine reckoning may be about to take place, so hold your horses.
‘..... the gospel elevates people from poverty. God’s will is abundance: give and it shall be given, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom.
‘Where did you get the idea that the Gospel elevates people from poverty, and that his will is abundance, William? Christ’s teaching was very specific that we should be content with a sufficiency’.
What happened to St Paul? Though helping to support others through his tent-making, he seems to have been close to naked at times, and certainly could not have been described as enjoying abundance. Do you think the other Apostles would not be more likely to have been dressed in rags than smart apparel?
Why did Jesus, who was our supreme exemplar, homeless and indigent, being looked after while preaching, together with his Apostles, by that small group of wonderful women.
Why did Jesus speak with such unequivocal vehemence when disparaging money as a major obstacle to faith? You either worship money and despise God or vice versa. How does that compute with ‘abundance’ being a blessing? Why did God take the life of the farmer who pulled down his barns to build bigger ones to accommodate his bumper harvest?
Why did Jesus cite Abraham as saying to the rich man: ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’
It surely can’t be a strict equation. But neither can it be without real significance in some way.
Why did Jesus commend the widow who put her last mite in the treasury. If abundance is a spiritual blessing, then surely she was cursed, didn’t even know it, and courted further curses.
Apart from those few anomalous-sounding passages, which surely refer to owning nothing and possessing everything, even the Old Testament is replete with warnings about ‘abundance’, the Psalms in particular:
From Psalm 49:
.....‘In his riches man lacks wisdom, he is like the beasts that are destroyed.
This is the lot of those who trust in themselves,
who have others in their beck and call.
Like sheep they are driven to the grave,
where death shall be their shepherd
and the just shall become their rulers.
With the morning their outward show vanishes
and the grave becomes their home.
But God will ransom me from death
and take my soul to himself.
Then do not fear when a man grows rich,
when the glory of his house increases.
He takes nothing with him when he dies,
his glory does not follow him below.
Though he flattered himself while he lived:
Men will praise me for all my success,
yet he will go to join his fathers,
and will never see the light any more.
In his riches, man lacks wisdom;
he is like the beasts that are destroyed.
and from Psalm 71:
..... O God, give your judgment to the king,
To a king’s son your justice,
That he may judge your people in justice
And your poor in right judgment.
May the mountains bring forth peace for the people
And the hills, justice.
May he defend the poor of the people
And save the childen of the needy
And crush the oppressor.
..... For he shall save the poor when
and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak
and save the lives of then poor
From oppression he will rescue their lives,
to him their blood is dear.
Long may he live,
may the gold of Sheba be given him.
They shall pray for him without ceasing
and bless him all the day.’
But if you cited all such bible texts, it would be never-ending. Starting with the Beatitudes. When Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’, he used the same word as the one in the other Gospel, translated simply as ‘poor’. Why did Jesus speak of money as tainted? And Paul speak of it as ‘filthy lucre’ and ‘the root of all evil?’ Words of scripture are binding, where not metaphorical, or approaching a profound mystery by indirections.