Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
There are two main ways the Father uses our finances to teach us: He either withholds them or punishes us with abundance.
On the second month of their exodus the children of Israel complained about their manna diet. They wanted fresh meat. Our fathers’ desire for meat made them complain about their blessed situation and look back at Egypt with nostalgia (Exodus 16:3). A year later they did it again (Numbers 11:4) and this time the Father from whom all blessings flow did not take too kindly to it and He addressed the issue by punishing them with abundance.
Abundance is not always a sign of God’s blessing and approval. Abundance has a tendency to steal our hearts from God. In abundance we spend foolishly, become preoccupied with the things of the world, and find it difficult to dedicate to God in the same proportions as before. Avarice and greed are quick to follow and a society that has too much becomes fat, lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the needs of others. It seems easier to emanate godliness when things are lean. Maybe that is why many of God’s children are blessed with ‘leanness’.
Whether we live in leanness or abundance, we should never complain. The apostle Paul was a good example of this. When addressing his own situation he said, I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content (Philippians 4:11). He also taught his disciples to be content with the basics of food and raiment (1Timothy 1:6); housing is not even in the deal. James, the brother of the Master did not hold too much respect for wealth either (James 5:1-6) and the Master Himself encouraged us to not worry about our food and raiment but to busy ourselves with the affairs of the Kingdom (Matthew 6:31-34).
May we learn from this lesson from our fathers in the desert and realize that abundance can be a punishment as much as poverty. Poverty usually drives us to desperation and to God; abundance steals our hearts away from He who is the Fountain of Everlasting Life. May we not grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer, but remember that these things happened to them as an example, that they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come (1Corinthians 10:10-11) .
May we pray the wise prayer from King Solomon, Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for 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).