On a trip to the nation of Israel I found the principle of “more than enough” alive in Jewish culture. Every Friday night the Sabbath celebration in a practicing Jewish home contains the giving of thanks to God for the bread and the wine after the meal. This practice is not what Christians know as the Lord’s Supper. But by giving thanks for the bread, they are expressing appreciation for their basic needs of life being met. By giving thanks for the wine, they are expressing appreciation for the joys of life—the joys are the blessings of God that go beyond the meeting of their basic needs. Jews understand this very important concept about the nature of God.
We already mentioned that Abraham passed on a revelation of El Shaddai to Isaac. Later Isaac personally introduced his son Jacob to El Shaddai in Genesis 28:1-3. Let’s read it.
So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to Paddan Aram…Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban…May God Almighty (El Shaddai) bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.”
Here we see El Shaddai specifically mentioned in the same breath with “fruitfulness and increase” as Isaac seeks to pass on this revelation of God to his son. Later Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, was next in line to receive the revelation of God Almighty (El Shaddai). The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was passed on to the next generation in Genesis 48:3-4.
Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty (El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’”
Joseph received the revelation. We find that Joseph had this sense of prosperity in his soul. He had it inside of him. Wherever he was, whatever the situation, no matter how difficult, he eventually would prosper. He seemed to rise to the top like cream rises to the top of milk.
When he was sold into slavery, he prospered there. When he was in Potiphar’s household, he flourished. Even in prison, he thrived. As the one in charge of the Egyptian government’s food supply program, he prospered there. He was the steward of more than enough to help others in their time of need during the seven years of famine. Prosperity was in his soul. He knew God wanted to bless him and prosper him no matter what his present circumstances looked like.
This is what we are looking for…prosperity flowing out of our hearts regardless of where we are and our current situation. If we have prosperity of soul, we will find a way to prosper, no matter what our circumstances or the opposition facing us. It will not matter the condition of our local economy or if we have a savings account or if we are a single parent, because our prosperous souls will cause us to prosper.
NOTE: I have one more post on El Shaddai and then we will be looking at some economics, especially at it applies to the European debt crisis.