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Health and wealth

O Lord my God, I cried out to you for help, and you restored my health. — Psalm 30:2

Benjamin Franklin’s saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” contains more than a grain of truth. Whether or not there is an exact correlation between good sleep habits and “the good life” is hard to say. But Franklin’s epigram certainly identified three areas of concern for people in all ages: health, wealth, and wisdom.

Issues related to health, wealth, and wisdom are often discussed in the pages of Scripture. David, for example, said, “O Lord my God, I cried out to you for help, and you restored my health” (Psalm 30:2). We do not have details of his ailments, but they were serious enough for him to say, “You brought me up from the grave, O Lord. You kept me from falling into the pit of death” (30:3).

Many have been brought to their spiritual senses when health fails. The healing of the body leads to a cleansing of the soul, even to the point of thanking God for illness. Some people only look up when they are put on their backs!

But a little thought shows that, if we thank God for healing, we should praise him for health. Health is perpetual healing. Given the intricacies of our bodies, the prevalence of viruses, and the incidence of accidents, it is quite remarkable that we are ever well.

Yet most of us are. We live our lives assuming that the robust health we enjoy will continue unabated. In fact, we assume that it is a right, not a privilege. The problem is that the more we enjoy good health, the less we depend on the Lord for it; the less we know of suffering, the less we turn to the Lord for help.

As it is with health, so it is with wealth. David’s lost health, once restored, led him to worship and thanksgiving. And his lost wealth led to a similar conclusion. He said, “When I was prosperous I said, ‘Nothing can stop me now!’ Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain” (30:6-7). But sadly, the prosperity the Lord had granted him led him away from a life of trusting obedience: “Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered” (30:7).

Lost health can shatter us; so can lost wealth. It is drastic medicine, but those absorbed with their own lives respond to little else.

When the Lord restores lost health and wealth, and people respond by praising the Lord, they get wise. So be wise—get to bed early, but rise up to bless the Lord!

For Further Study: Psalm 30:1-12

Content taken from The One Year Book of Devotions for Men by Stuart Briscoe. Copyright ©2000. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.