Blessings

26 01 2009

“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years…” (Deut. 30: 19b-20a)

As I’ve studied the concept of a Biblical blessing through the Perspectives in World Missions course, I’ve come to realize a “blessing” is so much more than I originally assumed. It not only refers to abundance in relationships, material wealth and offspring, it is also an integral part of an inheritance.

A father’s blessing was highly desirable and valued in Biblical times, as we see in the story of Jacob and Esau (Gen. 25-27). It carried the idea of multiplying prosperity and of the responsibility of the child to carry on and grow the family’s larger purpose and work.

Therefore, considering this context, in the verse above our Heavenly Father (and of how much greater worth is His blessing!) is offering us His blessing – multiplying prosperity and the responsibility of continuing in His purpose and work – if we show ourselves to be obedient children.

What an offer! The father’s blessing was usually given only to the firstborn son. I, a daughter of Abraham by faith and one adopted into Yahweh’s kingdom, have no claim on that blessing. But because of the Lord’s great love, mercy and grace He has extended to me the blessing of life and riches untold. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!” (1 John 3:1a)

Yet so often I give away this blessing, sell it for a bowl of stew like Esau, by my disobedience. I sell it for a few farthings, for temporary toys that do not satisfy.

What am I to do? His Word says, “But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed.” (Deut. 30: 17-18a)

What have I to say? How can I plea? I have no words, I cannot speak. My tongue is frozen in my mouth.

My only hope rests in the mercy and saving grace of the atonement lamb, Jesus the Messiah. “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7: 24-25)

Blessed be the Name of the Lord God Almighty, who stretches down His mighty hand to lift us and save us from our depravity.

This is the true blessing of our inheritance.

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