Saturday, June 22, 2019

Taking Rest in Affluence (Isaiah 32:18 LXX)

Since I purchased my Bible translated by Nicholas King (Oxford Professor) I have been really blessed with the readings. King translated the Bible from the OG (Old Greek or LXX) for the OT and the Greek NT. I usually read NKJV or RSV for my devotions and both these versions are translated from the Hebrew MT for the OT. This morning I read several chapters of Isaiah and my eyes came upon Isaiah 32:17-18 about the effect of the works of righteousness. At the end of the verse, the LXX says that the end result of righteousness is “take their rest in affluence”. God is no miser. For those who have sacrificed their lives unto Him, He is able to care for. I just told my close friend that for 14 years of my full-time ministry (30-44 years old) I never held more than 2 or 3 months’ salary of savings, that is I never had more than RM10,000 in my account, in fact much less. As for me, the sacrifice to God is total commitment and giving up of everything to pursue what God commands, not holding back but to leave everything and follow Christ.
With a family, it was a miracle that I survived. The fruits of it are tens of thousands of people blessed through the ministry of the Word and I am still reaping rewards today when strangers come up to me and said they had listened to me preach as a child or young teenager. “Cast your bread upon the waters and after many days you will receive much in return” (Eccle). Everyone wants to retire in some comfort and financial security. Taking rest in affluence is an aim for many but few manage that as in Malaysia more than 70 percent of wage earners have less than RM50K in their retirement accounts. I can identify with the 70percent because when you get just barely 150 per month (as Treasurer General I was paid RM1,000 per month) and as recent as my stint in Ranau as pastor, less than RM500.00 saved into my retirement account. And when I got transferred to the Bible college I got a pay cut! But all these sacrifices are not unknown to God who is a God of justice. He is able to bless His servants who do right and honour Him with their lives in His service. And for sure they will take their rest or retire in prosperity.

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