Monday, January 12, 2009

Consuming Reflections: If you're rich be like this

Job is an interesting character - as I've already noted when we first meet him, he is an extremely rich man. By the end of the story he is even richer, God has not only restored to him what was lost but gave him an even greater abundance (Job 42:12).

Job, like Abraham, is held up as an example that God thinks being rich is OK. If being rich in and of itself were bad then why would God bless Job? It's a reasonable argument but the Bible also tells us that wealth is dangerous - wealth can deceive you (Mk 4:19). God it seems is putting dangerous goods into Job's hands. It's a bit like giving my baby son Noah the spoon while I'm feeding him. He could get it in his mouth or he could spray mushed carrot all over the room. It's a dangerous move.

But God didn't seem to have any such doubts because he knew the character and heart of the men in question. Job reveals the reason for such confidence in chapter 31. Job recognises that all he has came from God in the first place (Job 31:15). Job understands that generosity to the poor is the responsibility of the rich (Job 31:16-22) and perhaps most importantly Job doesn't trust in gold or riches (Job 31:24-25) he trusts in God. God trusts Job because Job trusts God. God knows that when he gives great riches to Job it won't pull him away, make him selfish and proud and Job won't take from God what he is due (trust and faith) and give it instead to gold and money.

So, if you're rich or God blesses you with greater riches (and remember that if you reading this then from a global perspective you are rich) don't trust in it, don't forget who to thank and don't forget to be generous. Of course understanding what generous is, will help.


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