Our next project will be a study dealing with poverty and prosperity in the Bible. There are some amazing “contradictions” in the Bible regarding poverty and prosperity.
For instance, Proverbs 13:22 says that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children.” That doesn’t seem to describe someone who is lacking resources.
On the other hand, Jesus told the rich young ruler to “sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor.” There is no inheritance or wealth left to pass on if you sell it all and give it away.
How then, can we understand the opposing views of poverty and prosperity taught in the Bible? There is an interesting account in Acts 3:1-10 that gives us some insight.
Peter and John were going to the temple when they encountered a man lame from birth. He was at the temple gate, begging. When the man asked them for alms, Peter replied that they did “not possess silver and gold.” In other words they were poor from a material point-of-view.
Then he continued, “but what I do have I give to you.” Peter, through the power of the Holy Spirit had riches beyond what this man could ever imagine. Right then Peter gave him something that money could not buy … “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”
“With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.”
Peter completely understood his poverty. He had no silver or gold. But, Peter also understood his prosperity. Through the power of God he gave the lame man something that was far more valuable than silver or gold.
There are many other examples like this throughout the Bible. We’ll look at several of them in our next study on the importance of having both poverty and prosperity.
(All Bible quotes taken from the NASB.)