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A Picture Of A Prosperous Society
In the light of the Scriptures, there are four basic characteristics which depict a prosperous society. Let's examine them and see if we fit that description.
Psalm 147:13-14 says - "For He hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; He hath blessed thy children within thee. He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat."
Within these two verses of Scripture are found four traits of a prosperous society. They are as follows -
1. It Is Experiencing External Security
Psalm 147:13 says - "For He hath strengthened the bars of thy gates..."
The cites were once surrounded by walls and entered into through the gates. Bars were fastened across these gates for the utmost security of the members inside and in order to keep out the enemy. The people had nothing to fear as along as "the bars of the gates" were in tact.
This verse states that God "strengthens the bars of thy gates." What that means is that He makes them strong against outward and invading forces - guaranteeing the city or nation safety and security.
This portion of Scripture goes along with the verse found in Psalm 127:1 which says - "Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." In other words, there is no safety if Jesus is not Lord.
2. It Is Enjoying Internal Happiness
Psalm 147:13 says - "...He hath blessed thy children within thee."
Where the "blessing of the Lord" is - there is happiness, joy, concord, harmony, unity, zeal, holiness, righteousness, fruitfulness, increase, and prosperity. The inhabitants enjoy communion with God and joy in their relations
This internal happiness is depicted in the following Scriptures -
Psalm 115:14-15 says - "The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the LORD Which made heaven and earth."
Psalm 128:3-6 says - "Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel."
Isaiah 44:3 says - "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring."
Isaiah 54:13 says - "And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children."
Jeremiah 30:20 says - "Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before Me, and I will punish all that oppress them."
3. It Knows Public Tranquility
Psalm 147:14 says - "He maketh peace in thy borders..."
God delivers from terror and the desolation of wars...causes universal peace to extend to the borders or territories making them secure and strong... and makes peace to prevail throughout the land - whereby the people are no longer terrified by enemy invaders.
Public tranquility is a gift from God. It is pictured in the following Scriptures -
Psalm 29:11 says - "The LORD will give strength unto His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace."
Leviticus 26:6 says - "And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land."
Isaiah 60:18 says - "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise."
4. It Flourishes With Plenty
Psalm 147:14 says - "...He...filleth thee with the finest of the wheat."
The common effect of peace is great plenty. Said another way - peace is generally attended with plenty. "The finest of the wheat" would include the best kind of food which the abundance thereof would be the daily diet. It would typify man's wants being supplied so that they are filled to overflowing - making famine an uncommon word.
God's desire is for His people to enjoy plenty. See what the following Scriptures have to add on this subject -
Deuteronomy 32:12-14 says - "So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape."
Psalm 81:16 says - "He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee."
Zechariah 9:17 says - "For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids."
Joel 2:23-24 says - "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil."
We see from the above Scriptures that it is God's desire to give His people peace and prosperity. We can see this also exemplified in
Deuteronomy 33:28 which says - "Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also His heavens shall drop down dew" and in Zechariah 8:12 which says - "For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. "
Take note of phrases such as - "shall dwell in safety"..."a land of corn and wine"..."His heavens shall drop down dew"..."the seed shall be prosperous"..."the vine shall give her fruit"..."the ground shall give her increase"..."the heavens shall give their dew"... and "I will cause the remnant...to possess all these things."
The blessings of peace and prosperity find their source in God.
"...and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things."
In Genesis 27:28, we see the same idea reiterated in Isaac's blessing pronounced over his son Jacob - "Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine."
Here Jacob was blessed with plenty - with heaven and earth pulling together to make him rich. "The dew of heaven" represented - to the Oriental mind - the highest flow of prosperity. The "dew" - being copious - was indispensable to the fruitfulness of the land. It was a source of blessing. And notice that it came from God.
The plentiful dews fell in extraordinary abundance - in morning and evening and throughout the entire night - saturating everything. They left behind "the fatness of the earth" - which consisted of "plenty of corn and wine" - being emblems of prosperity, plenty, and the blessings of God.
From this study so far, we gather that - as long as a society maintains that God is in charge - they will enjoy peace and prosperity.
But what happens when a people turn their backs on God?
Lamentations 2:9 gives the answer in a picturesque form - "Her gates are sunk into the ground; He hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD." The "bars" of the "gates" which were once strengthened - securing the place - were now completely destroyed - causing the "gates" to be buried under the rubbish as if swallowed up in an abyss. Because the "law" was no longer read, opened, observed, or expounded, the prophets received no vision or revelation from the Lord - even to warn the people of judgment to come.
Luke 19:42-43 offers another scenario of what happens to a people who reject the Lordship of Jesus over their lives - "Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side."
Are you a part of a prosperous society?
Is your country enjoying - external security from enemy invaders...internal happiness - especially among the children...public tranquility whereby your borders are secure...and abundant blessings from on high - whereby the economy is skyrocketing?
If not, could it be because it has forsaken the true and living God Who happens to be the source of all blessing?
God "strengthens"..."blesses"..."makes peace"...and "fills."
If you want these blessings, you must go to Him and ask for them.
Remember - It's not that God doesn't want to bless, it's that people just don't want to obey.
May God Bless His Word.