Discover Your Spiritual Identity!
The Revelation of the Names and Titles God Has Given His People
"All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship" (Ps. 22:29, NKJV).
Does God desire to prosper His people and if He does, what does that involve? Bringing balance and clarity to this controversial issue is exceptionally important. Let's start by explaining why God refers to His people as "the prosperous of the earth" in Psalm 22.
Along with Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 prophesied some of the most graphic details of what Jesus would go through on the cross:
- "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (His cry from the cross, vs. 1, NKJV).
- "They pierced My hands and My feet" (vs. 16).
- "They divide My garments among them and for My clothing they cast lots" (vs. 18).
Then the end of Psalm 22 foretells the glorious outcome of the Messiah's suffering:
"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lord's and He rules over the nations. . . All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship;" (Ps. 22:27-29).
These verses are foretelling the Kingdom Age and, quite possibly, the marriage supper of the Lamb — attended by those who have been washed from their sins in the precious blood of Jesus. All those who are blessed to be a part of that glorious coming era will undoubtedly be prospering in God as they experience "heaven-on-earth" conditions in a renewed paradise world, but that means something much different than what is normally associated with the word. In fact, it will have absolutely nothing to do with financial well-being.
Defining the Term
The dictionary definition of the word "prosper" conveys two primary meanings:
1. To succeed in an enterprise or activity, especially to achieve economic success.
2. To enjoy vigorous and healthy growth: to flourish.
So, prosperity can cover a lot of territory.
Even though most people associate "prosperity" with financial success or material gain, the first time it is mentioned in the Bible, it has nothing to do with that. Abraham is sending his servant Eleazer on an important mission and he instructs:
"'The LORD, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father's house" (Gen. 24:40).
God did "prosper" Eleazer's efforts, supernaturally leading him to Rebekah who then became Isaac's wife. Two chapters later, though, Isaac was described in a way that did include being blessed in the area of material wealth:
"The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous" (Gen. 26:13).
So, in some cases, flourishing materially can be a sign of prosperity streaming from God's blessing (and I must ask, "How could the work of God be promoted successfully worldwide without those who are favored this way?") But this aspect is certainly not the biblical emphasis.
What about Joseph, who became a slave in the captain of the guard's home and, after that, a prisoner in Pharaoh's dungeon? In both situations, this great-grandson of Abraham was described "prospering":
"His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper" (Gen. 39:3).
"The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper" (Gen. 39:23).
These references could not be referring to material prosperity because neither slaves nor prisoners would have been allowed to own material things or grow a fortune. Therefore, Joseph must have "prospered" a different way, in things like organizational abilities, leadership skills and social interactions. Plainly spoken, he just knew how to get things done effectively and successfully, and he was good with people.
Another great example is the first psalm that declares a blessing over the one who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly:
"He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper" (Ps. 1:3).
That covers a lot of territory — "Whatever he does." Even if it never overflows to material fulfillment, that covers the full scope of a person's life and being. So, our problem may be semantics. Many people recoil from the so-called "prosperity gospel" because they automatically associate prosperity with the idea of getting rich for the sake of getting rich and flaunting those riches. However, biblical prosperity goes far beyond that — so much so that God even names His people "the prosperous of the earth" — why? Because even though we are not all well off financially during our sojourn in this world, we will be changed into His image at the resurrection and dwell in His presence forever. Now, that's a sign of prospering to the highest degree!
To go deeper in this revelation of what it is to be "The Prosperous of the Earth," listen to Episodes 61 and 62 of Mike Shreve's podcast titled Discover Your Spiritual Identity on Charisma Podcast Network. You can also see the video version of some of his podcast episodes on Mike Shreve's YouTube channel: YouTube.com/mikeshreveministries. Be sure to purchase a copy of his Charisma House book on this subject of our God-given names and titles, WHO AM I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ.
A product of the Jesus Movement Era, Mike Shreve has traveled evangelistically in the United States and overseas since 1970 with an emphasis on healing and the prophetic. His primary biblical teaching for over 35 years has been the spiritual identity of believers. This powerful insight is featured on his weekly podcast on cpnshows.com and his TV program—both titled Discover Your Spiritual Identity. It is also the theme of his Charisma House book titled WHO AM I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ. The first three categories on his YouTube website expand on this amazing revelation: YouTube.com/mikeshreveministries.
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