A person can live in a refugee camp and be wealthy beyond measure. Another person can lay in a hammock on his private island and be poor beyond reckoning. The Lord does not look at a person's possessions to determine whether someone is wealthy or impoverished. It may appear to us that God has does not favor the man in the refugee camp, but favors the man on his private island. But, whether someone is blessed or cursed cannot be judged by material wealth or success.

As the Proverbist writes, "The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord."(Proverbs 9:10) The Lord favors those who fear Him, whether they're rich or poor by our standards.

When we trust in false gods, like material wealth and success, we don't fear the Lord. There is no godly favor or blessing in those things. A person is favored and blessed by the Lord when he trusts the One and only One who is his help and shield. No matter what our position is in the world, whether we pick strawberries in a field for a few dollars a day or earn billions of dollars from online shoppers, it's only fear, love, and trust of God (above all things) that means anything as regards true wealth and success.

The Lord's favor, like the Lord's blessing, is revealed by Jesus' death and resurrection. In the power of Jesus' resurrection, the Lord God forgives, renews, and promises us eternal life. This is the favor and blessing of our Lord simply put. This is for the living, not the dead. The dead cannot enjoy what the Lord does for them. But, the dead aren't just in graves, they're found wherever people measure wealth and success by material gain and loss.

Through faith in Jesus, we have the fear of the Lord, because we are in a relationship with God's wisdom. The wisdom of God became man, lived, died, and was raised for the justification of sinners, great and small. Both those who are judged to be great and small by earthly standards are called, gathered, and enlightened by the Gospel to hear and see the truth. God's wisdom, even though He was rich beyond our comprehension, yet for our sakes, He became the poorest of all so that through His poverty we might be made rich in Christ.

Jesus' greatness is in the fact that even though He is the Lord of heaven and earth, He took on human nature, even coming to us in the form of a slave. God's wisdom came to serve and not to be served. He made Himself the poorest of all so that we might enjoy the rich favor and blessings of God. He suffered and bled for all sinners, no matter how great a sinner they are, to make them great in the kingdom of God.

We look to Jesus and trust that Jesus is God's wisdom for us, and in this way enjoy wealth and success beyond all human understanding. We trust Him, praise Him, and bless Him as He blesses us through His gracious Word.
Because our Lord has blessed us so richly we fear losing His grace and praise Him for His mercy today and always.