Oftentimes, when we read the stories of some biblical personages, we are quick to notice their shortcomings and pass judgements on them. We even make prayer points of their lapses – asking God to help us not to make the same mistakes they made. The truth is while there are many whose lifestyle isn’t worthy of emulation, there are those from whom we can take a leaf.
Isaac is one those personages. Remember Isaac, the son of father Abraham, God’s friend? Yes, he is the one I’m talking about. The man Isaac sets a commendable pattern for the people of today, especially in his journey to financial prosperity.
Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year and hundred fold: and the Lord blessed him.
And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great. Exodus 26:12-13
You’ll find the passage above quoted among good folks each time they need to reinforce the fact that we can make it despite all odds or how that our needs can be adequately met in the midst of severe hardship. And of course, these assertions are perfectly true, as long as we play our part in the process. Thank God for biblical promises for it’s on them our hope and faith hinge. Sometimes we go through challenges that threaten our faith but whenever we remember God’s promises, our faith becomes renewed and our hopes lifted. However, as wonderful as those promises are, many fail to understand that we have a role to play and effort to put in in their fulfilment. For instance, any right thinking individual desires to be rich. But imagine what it will look like if we could all get rich by simply quoting the promises on financial prosperity.
To set the record straight, God desires that we prosper and have good success. Anyone who says otherwise is completely ignorant. God has nothing to gain from a man’s poverty. Actually, such a condition doesn’t glorify Him. However, as much as God will have us prosper, if we fail to in our own responsibility(ies), the consequent hardship won’t be His fault.
That said, we would turn the spotlight on our man Isaac and see what we can glean from him on his way to financial prosperity.
NOT A DADDY’S BOY
One of the observations made from the story of the so-called prodigal son was that he solely depended on the wealth of his father to make headway. Here is Isaac, the son of a prosperous man – perhaps the richest of his time. He could have decided to live on the abundance of his father’s wealth. After all, my father’s money is my money. However, Isaac chose to set out and make a life for himself. Yes, he had access to all that belongs to his father. Nevertheless, he would not settle for less. Rather, he aspired to take the part of honour and carve a niche for himself.
One of the reasons Solomon made a mess of his kingship was because he was never tested. Everything he needed had been provided for by his father. He simply basked in the euphoria of his father’s exploit. Would there be anything wrong with being born into affluence, absolutely not. After all, a goodly man lives an inheritance for his offspring. Problem however arises when a man builds his hope of financial prosperity only on inheritance. Clothe a pig in costly apparel and it will sooner soil it in the mud. We’ve had stories of men who rose on the wings of their inheritance. While few of them made the best of it, most of them made a mess of their inheritance. A man whose prosperity will endure will be one whose mettle can be tested.
EVEN AS A CHILD OF PROMISE…
Right before Isaac was born, God had made a lot of promise concerning him and have even blessed him. Isaac knew about those promises and held on to them.
Two farmers each had a piece of land that they cleared for farming. One went further to cultivate and work on his, while trusting God to make his labour fruitful. The other farmer however went to his piece of land each day and quoted scriptures about fruitfulness over it without cultivating it. Which of the farmers do you think will have something to reap when the time for harvest comes? God is going to send the rain, but you need prepare your field. The moment the Israelites got to the land of Canaan – a land that was rich for farming – manna stopped falling from heaven. Although God has promised to bless us, he won’t pour down dollars from heaven. I’m baffled when I hear of folks who go to the mountain for weeks praying for blessing. How exactly you want God to perform the magic, I wonder. Promises and prophecies work only for those who take actions. Despite the abundance of blessings/promises over Issac’s life, he didn’t just sit in the comfort of his house and wish that ravens bring him supplies. Someone once said: for you to have financial blessing as though that’s all that matters and pray/trust God for blessings as though that’s all there is to it. We can liken that spiritual but lazy man to a student who only prays and claim promises but never picks his book to read – his failure is sure going to be epic.
EVERYONE GOES THROUGH A PERIOD/SHADE OF FARMINE
Despite all the promises and blessings of God concerning him, Isaac experienced a time of famine in the land. Interestingly, his father Abraham also experienced it. Everyone goes through a period of famine so no one should himself up when he goes through one – the experience is not peculiar to anybody. Famine does not necessarily need to be about food scarcity: it comes in different shades. The most prevalent type in recent times would be of economic nature.
Isaac didn’t waste time lamenting the economic situation of his time. Instead, he left his comfort zone and went out to get solutions to salvage the situation. Worrying never adds a penny to anyone’s account. If it does, I’ll make it my most effective skills. It’s not out of place to experience a spate of financial/economic hardship. It’s however an issue when a fellow experiences a famine/dearth of ideas. There is always a step to take in times of financial crises. The earlier one figures it out, the faster one emerges from the unpleasant experience.
WHY GO DOWN TO EGYPT?
A friend once told me the story of a man who sold all he had in order to travel to the states, only to be deported on getting to his destination. In recent times, the number of lives that waste away in the desert en route utopia is alarming. People do unthinkable things in a bid to seek greener pastures. Isaac was also on the verge of compromising in order to escape famine but for divine guidance.
The truth of the matter is there is no rich place anywhere; there are only a large percentage of rich minds living there. The socioeconomic development of a place is limited to the activity or inactivity of its occupants. A desperate man is a man to run from. Financial prosperity is attained when a man adheres to certain life principles. Great men have lived in seemingly unfruitful places (towns/cities/countries) and turned things around for good there. Greatness in all ramifications starts with being in the right place (no matter the circumstance), discovering the opportunities it provides and tapping into them.
SEW SOMETHING FOR CHRIST SAKE
Two men purchased a piece of land apiece for farming. While one sewed seeds and worked on his, the other did nothing but hope for a bountiful harvest. One needs not be a rocket scientist to know who will have something to reap. Whenever we pray for God’s blessing, we should realise the fact that God will only bless the works of hands. The law of reaping and sewing is a natural law that cuts across board. If you don’t sew, you can’t reap. People are soon to forget that Isaac sewed in the land where there was famine. They simply point at the fact that he was blessed and became great in a land ravaged by famine. He didn’t just resign to fate or blame the government of his time for his predicament. There was famine in the land yet Isaac had a seed that he sewed. Many wants to become rich but don’t want to sew a seed. A seed can come in the form of a skill, a profession, a productive ability – any well-conceived effort put into a thing. The land only yields fruit for those who sew something. Famine – economic hardship, inflation, job scarcity, recession – is no excuse for anyone to be lazy or unproductive. Everyone has a seed to sew in a period of famine if only he looks within and tap into untapped resources.
NEVER STOP DIGGING
There is something about a persistent person – doggedness: he is always steadfast despite difficulties and trying moments. Nothing good comes on a platter of gold. Sometimes we appreciate the value of a substance better when we’ve had to go through pains to acquire it. Isaac displayed the act of persistence in his quest to own a well. Each time he sunk a well and found water, foes would come and claim its ownership yet he never quit digging until he until Rehoboth. Many a men are too soon to give up on their goals and visions because of one limitation or the other. They conceive a business idea and get excited about it only to give in when they experience a setback. People who have made marks in their field of endeavour have at some point experienced though and trying times – they became what they became just because they refused to settle.
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