Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” Lord , by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled. I cried out to You, O Lord ; And to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? Hear, O Lord , and have mercy on me; Lord , be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalms 30:6-12 NKJV
David says that “in his prosperity” he said that he would not be moved. He doesn’t say that it was his faith in God – it was the security that he found in his wealth that have him confidence. This is a problem.
The warnings of Revelation chapter 18 lay out the dangers of Babylon – of relying on riches and wealth and the world’s economic system as the source of our comfort and security as opposed to relying upon God. And Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 tell us that we cannot serve two masters. Proverbs in the Old Testament and Philippians in the New Testament both warn of the dangers of prosperity.
Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord ?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:8-9 NKJV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:11-13 ESV
Even though it is God’s favor that led to the prosperity, we can see that it can be an issue for those who lose sight of relying upon God for our strength. Prosperity can be very dangerous if it turns our reliance and security to anything other than God.
Mark 8:36 and Matthew 16:26 both give sound warnings about gaining the world only to lose our soul. Matthew 6:19-21 tell us of the treasures that we should be laying up for ourselves.
But David had let an idol get in between himself and God, and it was the wealth and prosperity that he had amassed as a result of the favor and blessing that God had poured out upon David’s life. You see, money isn’t the blessing. Money and things aren’t the blessings at all. The blessings are gifts and abilities and strengths that the Lord gives us that we can use in our lives. And sometimes money and prosperity and wealth can be the result of our holding back too much of the proceeds of those gifts for ourselves.
In David’s case, he realized this. He was convicted that the Lord has hidden his face from Him – which was his perspective and limited understanding, but not the reality – God had not turned away, He had turned away.He had turned from God’s best and perfect purpose for him to use his gifts for the common good of the community.
And this troubled David, and he made supplication for it by offering to build the Lord a house, a temple (1 Chronicles 17, 2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 28). And even though the Lord said no, that David could not build Him a temple – the Lord accepted David’s repentance, His change of heart to realize that he needed to turn back to his reliance solely upon the Lord as his source of comfort and security – not any wealth or prosperity.
David’s eyes had been opened to understand wealth not as a blessing, but as a responsibility.