Last week at our Rotary Club our guest speaker was Larry Barnett, Midlothian’s Economic Development Director. Our little town is no longer little. Only a half hour from almost all the major destinations in the DFW Metroplex, we are being discovered. Larry showed us the essential connections between good schools, attractive entrances to the city (medians mowed, signage clear, adequate road arteries), and business parks to keep charging the growth and prosperity of our city, but Psalm 107:36-38 speaks about the most essential basic of all when it comes to sustainable economic growth—obedience to God and His moral standards.
“He brought the hungry to dwell there, and they founded a city where they could settle. They sowed fields and planted vineyards that generated a prosperous bottom line. He blessed them and their population exploded. He did not let their herds dwindle.”
God isn’t distant—someone you only connect with once in awhile and certainly not Monday morning at the office. He lives in an agricultural economy (like the Midlothian Mary and I discovered in 1973) where this psalmist saw a direct connection between rainfall, sunshine, number of new lambs, and the growth of his herds, and the God who controlled all this. As we move into large industrial complexes, shopping centers, and multiplying housing developments, it’s easy to think that all this depends upon our technology, strategic planning, and MBA’s in business.
Psalm 107 reminds me to always remember that God is the One who actually controls the bottom line. He blesses when I humbly worship and obey Him, but the psalms goes on to reveal what happens when I forget Him. Psalm 107 reveals the cycle of turning away in prosperity, the resulting hard times, and then the restoration when I again call upon Him (vv. 39-41). The secularist never sees this connection between God and business, but those who are genuinely business smart see the connection between God’s gracious faithfulness and economic development.
Larry Barker who spoke to us at Rotary is a believer and would strongly agree with my point that God is a must in generating and maintaining the economic health of our town. If you don’t believe that the psalmist has it right, check out how Atlantic City, New Jersey is doing.
LORD, thank you for local educational, political, and business leaders who live out their faith in the real world of education, politics, and business. Powerfully strengthen and guide our pastors to continue to demonstrate for us what it means to live dependent upon You and close to You not only a Sunday morning but throughout the week.
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