Monday, September 30, 2013
God blesses us
THE STORY of blessing is behind the story of everything. God’s heart is to bless us (personalise this – say “God’s heart is to bless me!”) and through His grace and His words and His promises He has blessed us. Ultimately He has blessed us through our identification with Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3) who has opened the door for us to total and eternal blessing (Eph 1:3-8). There is not a word in this passage about anything we may have done.
We are invited to live within the father/child relationship of blessing. He wants to reveal Himself to us, to heal us, to make us whole, to grow us. He longs to give and to bless, more than we need, and we can’t contain it. This is the generosity of a Father who has lost His children, and who wants them back.
It starts at creation, when God created mankind, male and female, and blesses them (Gen. 1:26-28). Mankind is appointed to a relationship, a role and a place, exercising delegated rule and authority over planet Earth and the multiplication of its resources of food and fruitfulness. However, independence spoils the friendship: Genesis 3:1-19 recounts how Adam and Eve preferred an alternative voice to God’s. Both they and the ground came under a curse – as did Satan. Mankind was expelled from that appointed place and role and from that time on, multiplication was challenging. The relationship worsened: Cain murders his brother (Genesis 4); sin and depravity get so bad that God regrets having made man in the first place (Genesis 6:6) and judgment comes as Noah is shut in the ark (Gen. 7:16) to wait out the flood.
Dutchman Johan Hulbers constructed this replica ark which is 138m long and 23m wide
However, that human desire for being meaningful, for having a place and a purpose, and being known, loved and blessed, is still there – it is part of how we were created, our spiritual ‘DNA’. The stream of God’s blessing and good intention towards us was designed into the very foundation of our lives.
Following the flood there is a new start and a fresh blessing expressed in Genesis 8:20-9:11. Note that this includes the land, Gen. 8:21. Enter Abram, Genesis 12:1-3, and through him a renewed blessing, both personal and extended to all the families of earth, and reaffirmed as Abram becomes Abraham, the father of a multitude (Genesis 17:3-6). In passing we see a blessing pronounced by the mysterious royal priest, Melchizedek, in Genesis 14:17-20.
The story of Israel is a story of blessings and curses (this is set out as a formula in Deut. 27 and 28).
For us, to come into God’s blessing is a coming home – it is returning to the environment we were created to inhabit (Psalm 115:16). Jesus is the fulfilment of that Abrahamic blessing to all nations (John 8:56, Acts 3:25-26, Galatians 3:8-9). He is the second Adam and the expression of how God’s heart throbs with pain for those who do not know Him. Through Jesus we receive far more than was lost – and that is only a foretaste of eternal life.
Because we are blessed, we have the power to bless – but that comes out of our first receiving. We must spend time in God’s presence before we have blessing to give.