I was listening to a preacher who condemned as faithless those who did not believe that God has guaranteed us perfect health and the best of things. We can expect that God wants us to be the head not the tail and therefore we can expect the best car on the block. If God is truly a good God, doesn’t God want to give us good things?
The preacher gave two texts to support this theology. We will look at both in this short series. The first of these is Matthew 6:33 that you have heard before.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The first thing that we must do when looking at this text is note what it says and what it does not say. First of all it tells us to “seek first God’s kingdom.” This initially tells me that if I am thinking about getting the best car and the biggest house that my mindset is not in line with this scripture. No a mindset of consumerism is in direct conflict with this text. Jesus is telling them to seek first God’s kingdom.
In fact, Jesus is speaking against this mindset when he began this passage. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says that we cannot serve God and money. He then immediately begins this passage in Matthew 6:25 with the word “therefore” which means that he is using this thought that culminates in “all these things shall be added to you” to help to attack in us the mindset of materialism that many of us seem to be infected with in Western Christianity.
The next thing that hits me about this text is that it says “these things shall be added to you.” What are “these things?” Is it a new car? Is it a new job?” What is Jesus talking about? so we need to go look at what are the “these things” that Jesus said would be added unto us.
Well the good thing is that we can go to the scripture itself. Let us look at the whole passage. Matthew 6:25 begins with Jesus telling his hearer “do not worry about the body…what you shall eat or drink…or your body…what you will wear.” So Jesus is telling the hearer that because you are not serving money (Matthew 6:24) you should not worry about what you are going to eat or drink or wear.
The first thing that should hit us is that Jesus is not talking about “wants.” No Jesus is talking about needs. We need to eat, drink, and clothe our body.
Then Jesus tells us that the Birds of the air eat, but they don’t’ sow, reap, or harvest (Matthew 6:26). Jesus then tells the hearer that the lilies are clothed even better than Solomon (Matthew 6:28).
Then we get to the conclusion. Jesus says to not say “what shall I eat…drink…or wear” That is what the “pagans” ask. (Matthew 6:31-32) No seek first God’s kingdom and all “these things” shall be added to you. what things? Food, drink, or clothing. These are necessities, these are not luxuries. Jesus is not talking about being the best dressed on the block with this text. No the “all these things” does not include your new job. no it does not include your new house. No it does not include your new car. It includes food, drink, and clothing.
One might be able to expand the thought to include other necessities, but it is not talking about the luxuries that many of us are attempting to make it say. No this text does not teach that if you have enough faith God will give you everything you want. No it does not mean that if I have enough faith I will not lose my job. No it does not teach that.
But it teaches that God cares about our necessities. Now this still brings the question, what about those of us who do not have these necessities. I still wrestle with that idea as I noted before.
But on the face of it, the text don’t say what some are trying to make it say. It is a promise of Jesus that you will have food, drink, and clothing. It is not a promise that you will get the “hook up” more than that. As always I encourage you to just read the text…