The Purpose of Blessings; November 17, 2017


Psalm 105:43-45 He brought out his people with rejoicing,
his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
he gave them the lands of the nations,
and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
that they might keep his precepts
and observe his laws.
Praise the Lord.

This Psalm recounts the events of the Exodus, and here we have both the result and the purpose of that. Verse 44 is rather brutal, when you think about it, and very politically incorrect. However, the nations that Israel dispossessed were idolatrous in the worst way, sacrificing their own babies to their gods and using sex as an element of cultic worship. (To be blunt, that sounds a lot like America today, with widespread abortion and depraved sexuality.) Verses 43 and 44 give the “perks,” so to speak, of being chosen by God, but verse 45 gives the purpose: obedience to God. The problem was, and is, that human beings are easily distracted from following God, and Israel did that big time. God delights to bless His children, as Psalm 85 says very accurately. “I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints— but let them not return to folly.” (Psalms 85:8) I feel sure the “peace” in the English is actually shalom, which can also mean prosperity and general well-being. God blesses us, but those blessings aren’t random or arbitrary. Rather, every blessing is intended to draw us into right relationship with our Creator, which certainly includes obedience to everything He tells us. God gives us far better than we deserve, but our response must be humble obedience, or we will throw it all out the window.

When I look back over my life and see how much God has blessed me I am somewhat overwhelmed. I have indeed been given far better than I deserved, and I need to seek God for His purposes for all of it. I have learned that nothing God gives is exclusively for the direct recipient. Even the gift of tongues, which is the most personal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament, is to build us up spiritually to make us more effective as God’s servants, (Jude 1:20) as well as to pray effectively when we don’t know the details of the situation for which we are praying. (Ephesians 6:18) I am called to be a faithful steward of all that God has placed in my hands, never thinking I have created or even earned any of it, but walking in humble gratitude. I too am prone to folly, as the Psalmist said, and I must avoid it like the plague.

Father, thank You indeed for the abundance of Your blessings to us. Thank You for giving wisdom and physical strength for the things we got done yesterday. I’m very pleased, and a little surprised! Thank You that You will likewise provide all that is needed for today. Help me flow with Your Spirit on Your schedule to accomplish Your will throughout today, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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