Every day we unconsciously cast votes of confidence: we trust that the chairs we sit in will hold our bodies, the ignition will turn and our cars will function, the Wi-Fi signal will connect us to the World Wide Web, we will have clean hot and cold water when we turn on the tap. Every day we trust that the infrastructure and conveniences of our lives will function for us. Because we can taste, touch, see, and hear the world around us, we trust our senses.
Often we afford the same implicit trust to our bank accounts and financial assets; the more we have, the more secure we feel. In the same way a power outage quickly reminds us how fragile the object of our confidence can be, our confidence in money to keep us secure is severely misplaced. Proverbs about money are plentiful because God knows that we are prone to put our trust in possessions rather than the Giver of good gifts.
Proverbs 11:28 says that the righteous flourish like a green leaf. The source of this verdant growth is God alone. The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s reminders to His people to remember that provision and security come from Him.
- Passover was instituted as a meal of remembrance of God’s rescue of the people of Israel from slavery. In a single night, the Israelites were set free and laden with riches from the Egyptians—through the movement of God (Exodus 12:35–36).
- The book of Deuteronomy is full of remembrance passages woven into God’s directions to His people about how to live holy, flourishing lives, including this verse in Deuteronomy 8:18: “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
- Leviticus 19:9–10 may seem strangely specific in prohibiting harvesters from harvesting every grape from their vineyard. However, the Lord wanted to remind farmers that their harvest was a gift from God, and the leftovers not only provided for the needy, but reminded the farmers to choose God’s generosity instead of greed.
- Isaiah, as well as other major and minor prophets have a theme of remembrance. God disciplines His people for not remembering that their prosperity is from Him: “For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants…yet the harvest will flee away in a day of grief and incurable pain” (Isaiah 17:10–11).
We don’t need to suffer the consequences of forgetting God’s provision. Instead, we can ensure that our souls flourish by practicing gratitude for everything that God has given us. Proverbs 3:9 reminds us to honor the Lord with our first fruits, and we can be creative in how we give that honor. We can give the first minutes of our day to pause and thank God for specific things He has given us the night before. We can set up a direct debit to go to our church fund or to support an organization that helps refugees, orphans, or the homeless. We can set aside a night to cook and extend hospitality in gratitude to God. The ways to honor God are as unique as we are. God’s Word is consistent in reminding us that when we abide in Him for provision, our souls find rest.