Know Your Bible: Made to Prosper
See how far a loving father will go to make his child happy!

Nothing brings more joy to a loving father than to see his son smile. He delights in his son’s triumphs, rejoices when he overcomes challenges, and loves watching him become a man. When his son comes to him for help, a loving father will pour himself into this venture, providing everything his son needs. He will be there to direct and correct, but also to comfort and encourage. Most of all he will make great sacrifices to see his son prosper.

If a physical father would go to such great lengths to see his son prosper, then how much more would God the Father? God wishes “above all things” that we are healthy and prosperous (3 John 1:2). To God, this is a priority. And unlike a physical father whose resources are limited, our spiritual Father has the infinite power of the universe at His disposal, and He wants to channel that power into your life to make you prosper!

Like a father, God wants to forge a special team with you. If you look at the great men of the Bible, they thrived because of this partnership with God. As a result, these individuals lived abundant lives gripped by adventures and miracles that would top any Hollywood blockbuster of today. You too can have a piece of that action. You too can be made to prosper!

It should come as no surprise that there are prerequisites. God would not just give just anyone the power of the universe. He requires a certain attitude and actions on your part. But make no mistake—if you diligently go after God as these men did, He will be a force in your life to ensure you succeed. And you will not only prosper in this life, but for eternity as immortal sons of God.

In this study we will examine what it takes for God to make you prosper.

Seek God

1. Did God make Uzziah King of Judah prosper? 2 Chronicles 26:5.

During King Uzziah’s 52-year reign in Judah he experienced immense success. In verses 6-15 you can read about his military victories, the tribute he received from surrounding nations, how he built up Jerusalem, the wealthy agricultural programs he oversaw, the massive size of his army (307,500 men in addition to 2,600 officers), and the innovative military equipment he had developed. Verse 15 states that Uzziah “was marvelously helped.” God was the source of all this success. He was the one making him prosper.

2. What caused God to prosper King Uzziah? 2 Chronicles 26:4-5.

Uzziah was only 16 years old when he became king. As a young king, he probably realized his deficiencies and the need to rely on God. He worked with the prophet Zechariah and sought God diligently. Uzziah was just like that son seeking help from his father, and God was right there to help him. As long as he remained humble in seeking God, God guided him to success.

3. Did King Uzziah remain faithful in seeking God? 2 Chronicles 26:16-21.

Amidst all the prosperity that God had poured upon him, Uzziah began to let vanity seep in. He began crediting himself for those successes, so he lost sight of the being who had given him everything. He drifted so far from God that he began desiring the role of a priest.

Gerald Flurry writes in The Former Prophets: “Uzziah enjoyed military successes and rebuilt and fortified Judah and Jerusalem. But then he forgot who gave him his blessings. He acted presumptuously and went into the temple to burn incense on the golden altar—as if he were a priest! … For this sin, God struck Uzziah with leprosy, essentially bringing his reign to an abrupt end (verses 19-21).”

God wants His children to prosper. He wants to “marvelously help” each one of us! But He will not prosper a rebellious child. The story of Uzziah teaches a powerful lesson: We must humbly seek God always if our prosperity is to be long-lasting. Never forget where your blessings come from, and thank God daily for them!

Mr. Flurry concludes this section of The Former Prophets by stating: “These kings performed some positive acts, but they were ultimately failures because they did not go wholly after the lamp of David’s throne—and they did not remain faithful to the end. Half-hearted obedience will ultimately end in disaster. God truly wants us to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Doing so will change your life in a dramatic way—forever!”

Keep The Law

1. Did Hezekiah seek God wholeheartedly? 2 Chronicles 31:20-21.

It is not enough to just seek God; we must seek Him with all our heart. That approach is guaranteed to get a response. Hezekiah really poured all his heart into seeking God. God loved this attitude, and it is why Hezekiah was so effective in turning the nation of Judah around.

2. Is it good enough to just hear the law? Romans 2:13. What did Christ tell us to do with what we hear? Luke 11:28.

It is easy to hear God’s instructions, laws and commandments; the test is, will we obey them? We show how wholehearted we are in seeking God by how well we keep His law. As Mr. Flurry writes in How to Be an Overcomer, “We must go beyond simply hearing God’s word. We must guard it, protect it, live by it. When we do that, Christ promises we will be blessed.”

Read 2 Chronicles 29-31. These chapters reveal a young king going wholly after God by restoring God’s laws to a nation that had become wrapped up in sin and paganism. Hezekiah restored the priestly order that God had ordained. He oversaw the cleansing and repair of the Temple. He directed the people to destroy their idols and return to worshipping God alone. He re-institutionalized the observance of God’s holy days, namely Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Then he restored the law of tithing to the nation. As each law was reinforced circumstances in Judah began to change rapidly.

3. What was the result of this return to God’s law? 2 Chronicles 30:26. Did it result in great prosperity? 2 Chronicles 31:5-12; 2 Chronicles 32:27-30.

The people greatly rejoiced! In fact, so great was the joy and gladness on the streets of Jerusalem that it had not been that way since the reign of Solomon. The inhabitants of Judah were learning an important lesson: Obedience to God’s laws results in automatic blessings and happiness.

Notice the abundance that they started reaping in their crops and herds. Just the tithe of their bounty was so great they did not have room enough to store it in the temple. This invokes the challenge God sets forth in Malachi 3:10: “Bring yea all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Under Hezekiah’s direction the people willingly followed this law and God prospered them beyond their capacity.

Every law of God is grounded in love (1 John 5:3). They are made for our benefit to bestow untold amounts of happiness, joy, peace and prosperity upon those who wholeheartedly apply them. Today you can experience the same outcomes as the people of Judah if you implement the source of their success—God’s law of love.

As is so vivid in this example with Hezekiah, a whole nation was rejuvenated by a leader who submitted himself to God and applied His laws. Not only did he prosper, the people and the entire nation prospered. Even Assyria, the most powerful military at the time, was no match for Hezekiah because the God of the universe was fighting for him (2 Kings 19:32-37).

4. What did David counsel his son Solomon to do in order to prosper? 1 Chronicles 22:11-13.

After all of the experiences David had in his life from shepherd boy to king of Israel, there was a key to success that he wanted to pass on to his son. He made it very clear: Keep the law of God, and you shall prosper. This is absolute; it is cause and effect. David is saying, if you want prosperity then it hinges on how well you keep God’s law. And you know from reading the biblical account of King David and King Solomon, the monumental kingdoms that they built of unparalleled prosperity came from this critical source, the law of God.

7. How did God instruct Joshua to make his way prosperous? Joshua 1:7-8.

If you want to know how to be prosperous, there is no better authority than God, the one who has the power to make you prosper. Here He outlines very plainly to Joshua how to have ultimate success. By keeping the laws that God had given to Israel through Moses, Joshua would be prosperous.

But God expects something else!

He did not just instruct Joshua to keep the law, but to meditate on it night and day. Notice how Mr. Flurry expands on this command in The Former Prophets: “This isn’t just saying how to have prosperity and good success. God is also saying, It’s not enough just to know the Bible, to have certain scriptures written on your wall or in your wallet. You won’t get what I’m trying to teach unless you meditate on these things and work to understand them deeply! Deuteronomy 17:18-20 say the same thing: A fine set of rules is not going to get us through to our ultimate spiritual destination.”

This isn’t about us being robots, following a list of predefined instructions. No—God wants sons! He wants us to meditate on His instructions so we can learn to think and reason just like our spiritual Father. This is the kind of prosperity that gets God excited. What prosperity could be greater than children being born into God’s spiritual Family? It eclipses anything physical we could ever imagine. That is where this type of meditation leads.

Don’t Compromise

In God’s instruction to Joshua, He continually emphasizes being “strong and very courageous.” This command appears three times within the first nine verses of the book. At the start of verse 7 God says that it will take strength and courage to observe all the law and not turn aside. When challenges arise, when we are put under pressure, it can be easy to reason our way around obeying all the law. But such compromises limit the blessings that God wants to bestow upon us.

The Former Prophets states about this verse, “At times it takes great courage to stand up and do what God commands and to fight the battle that God gives us to fight. But this is a promise from God: If you follow what Moses taught and don’t turn right or left, you will prosper.”

1. Was Joseph a prosperous man? Genesis 39:2-3.

Joseph had been sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers (Genesis 37:17-36). This alone would have been a tough trial, but Joseph did not let this disrupt his loyalty to God. In Egypt, God was with him and prospered him greatly. So abundantly was he blessed that even Potiphar, his Egyptian master, was blessed for Joseph’s sake. Everything Joseph oversaw was prosperous. That is the result of serving God like this; everything you do becomes a blessing.

2. Did Joseph compromise with the Seventh Commandment by committing adultery with Potiphar’s wife? Genesis 39:7-12.

In the heat of temptation, Joseph fled! He did not linger to entertain this evil. Now you could imagine the opportunities he could have had to justify this. He was the servant—surely he had to do what is master’s wife ordered? In her desperation to satisfy her lust, Potiphar’s wife may have even threatened Joseph with demotion or imprisonment for disobedience. Or maybe she promised further advancement if he would just yield. How easy would it have been to let down just once and cave into the pressure? But Joseph was well aware that it was God and no Egyptian that had set him in his position. He was not about to jeopardize His relationship with God for a temporary pleasure. He utterly refused to compromise with God’s Law.

3. How was he rewarded for his faithfulness to his master? Genesis 39:17-20.

Despite Joseph’s loyalty to his Egyptian master, he was still thrown in prison. Potiphar believed the lies of his wife and punished Joseph for ‘trying to commit adultery with her.’ This trial is really starting to intensify. People could look at this and think God is being really harsh. First Joseph faced conflict with his brothers, then he was sold into slavery, and just as things were starting to look up, he is thrown into prison. What kind of God would put you through that? But this is not how Joseph thought. He just kept faithfully serving God knowing that He would prosper no matter his state, so long as he did not compromise.

4. Even in prison, did God still prosper Joseph? Genesis 39:21-23.

Once again, whatever Joseph did, God made it to prosper! No matter what trials and challenges Joseph faced, he always prospered because the God of the universe backed him up every step of the way. If you finish reading the account you will learn that God was using all of those experiences to prepare Joseph for saving his family, Egypt, and the surrounding nations from a severe seven-year famine. God was training Joseph for great responsibilities both then and in the future.

Herbert W. Armstrong discusses how Joseph qualified for a very special role in the coming Kingdom of God in his book Mystery of the Ages: “Joseph became food administrator of the greatest nation on earth of that time—Egypt. Joseph was synonymous with ‘prosperity.’ … He was made actual ruler for the pharaoh of the world’s greatest nation. But his specialty was dealing with the economy—with prosperity. And what he did, he did God’s way.

“It seems evident, therefore, that Joseph will be made director of the world’s economy—its agriculture, its industry, its technology, and its commerce — as well as its money and monetary system. … This will be an administration that will eliminate famine, starvation, poverty. There will be no poverty-stricken slums. There will be universal prosperity!”

Joseph learned the way to prosper. He diligently sought God with his whole heart. He faithfully kept His laws and when trials arose, he refused to compromise. Because of this God made him prosper during his physical life. But as Mr. Armstrong points out, that was only the beginning of God’s plan for Joseph. Once resurrected, God will use Joseph to bring universal prosperity!

Herein lies the challenge and opportunity for each one of us: If we, like Joseph, commit ourselves to living the way of prosperity, if we refuse the temporary pleasures of this life in order to obey God and not compromise with His law, then we too will undergo a life of preparation—preparation that leads to us joining Joseph as a son of God and implementing universal prosperity. This is an opportunity to prosper not just now, but to make others prosper for eternity. Will you be made to prosper?