Many will justify their desire for wealth by pointing to the examples of Abraham, King David, or King Solomon. "Were they not wealthy?" But Abraham's wealth was in his flocks and his large household of servants who were fiercely loyal to him. He obviously loved and cared for them as if they were his own children.1 Likewise, King David was a man who gathered the disadvantaged to himself, and cared for them as their shepherd and captain.2 His rulership united Israel and caused all to prosper. It produced the Commonwealth of Israel, a type of what would come as a spiritual Israel under the New Covenant.3
King Solomon is the exception that proves the rule. Although he started out well and caused the nation to prosper, his love of luxury did the very thing that Paul warned -- he fell into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.4 In the end, the Kingdom his father King David labored to establish, was torn from him.5
The true living God would never desire to curse anyone with such "prosperity."6 His desire was for another type of prosperity, where the poor in spirit would receive the blessing as they shared what they had for the common good. It was the true prosperity that Peter and the other disciples embraced.
Peter began to say to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You." Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and the gospel's sake, but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in this present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions and in the age to come eternal life."7
The disciples had embraced poverty for the sake of the gospel, and in return they also received the blessing of true riches.8 In the Community of Messiah, no one desires riches for themselves, but all is a commonwealth.9 The material wealth of those who believe is shared among the needy and poor brotherhood. Therefore, all things are held in common, so the wealth is evenly distributed according to need.10 As a result there are no rich in the Body of Messiah, but there are also no poor. This is true prosperity.