Promise of Provision, The: Living and Giving from God’s Abundant Supply by Derek Prince
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Is your life empty? Do you not have the riches that you expected when you signed up for this Christianity thing? Well, you are in luck because in his newest book (published posthumously) Derek Prince offers 5 steps and 3 principles that are sure to get God to pay up for what he owes you. Of course, that is not the way he puts it. In fact throughout the book he denies that he is teaching the prosperity gospel and that the term “prosperity” means more than finances, yet most of his examples of God’s promises fulfilled mean amassing large amounts of material wealth.
Though he expressly denies it, Prince, like the other “prosperity gospel” preachers including Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, teaches a strong perspective on the law. Essentially he says that if we were to take God’s promises seriously and do what God commands, then we would have the wealth and prosperity that is promised in the Bible. That is, as a matter of fact, entirely true. The only trouble is that God expects perfect compliance with the Law, and none have been successful but Christ.
Interesting argument by Derek Prince about tithing.
We often think of tithing as an Old Testament idea, and many people argue that it is not Christian right along with the sacrificial laws that were only in effect for a time and were fulfilled in Christ. Yet the first indicator for the tithe comes from Abraham. Still obviously from the Old Testament, Genesis 14:17-20 tell how Abraham received a blessing from the King of Salem, called Melchizedek and a priest of God Most High. In response to that blessing (which accompanied a meal of bread and wine), Abraham gave him a tenth, a tithe, of all his spoils.
This event takes on more significance when we read in Psalm 110 about the coming Messiah who is called “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Who is this priest who will be established forever? The author of Hebrews speaks in depth about the significance of this title in chapters 5, 6 and especially 7. Christ is this priest. He is our high priest who makes intercession with God the Father on our behalf. He has given us his richest blessings by laying his own life down for us to ensure that with him we would receive a rich inheritance of salvation, his righteousness, and eternal life.
And so, in essence, the author of Hebrews establishes a bridge. To Abraham God promised that he would be the father of a nation and that all nations would be blessed through him. What God promised was to bring about the Messiah, the savior of the world, through Abraham’s descendants. After receiving that promise, Abraham modeled paying a tithe to Melchizedek, a shadow of Christ who would come as our priest. It certainly makes sense to me that as Christians we stand with Abraham as he receives that promise, the promise that we have seen fulfilled, and pay our honor to Christ for his rich blessings by sharing a part of our income.
< Hebrews 3:7-4:13 | Hebrews 4:14-5:6 | Hebrews 5:7-10 >
Every day we hear phrases like “have faith” or “leap of faith.” George Michael sang a song called “You Got to Have Faith” about believing that someone is interested in a romantic relationship. Faith is obviously a topic that the Bible addresses often. In the book of Hebrews we read what likely is the most well-known definition in terms of religious belief:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 ESV)
I often hear people talk about faith as being something that we hold without evidence, and sometimes even with evidence to the contrary. Do we read the words “hoped for” and “not seen,” and forget that faith also involves “assurance”? Obviously faith is something about what is “not yet,” but where does this assurance come from? It sounds as if the author of Hebrews is arguing that there is a level of certainty to our faith.