“The LORD bless you…” ― Psalm 128:5 (ESV)
These four words made me stop this morning. They stopped me like a sunset over the Pacific that leaves you feeling so small and yet valued and loved, knowing that a Creator painted that to close down your day. “The LORD bless you.” And at first glance, it is easy to gloss over. I have. I do. But this morning, it was different. “The LORD bless you.”
1). God has a desire to bless us. We don’t serve, worship, follow, obey, and love a God who just expects our obedience void of relationship. Rather, we serve, worship, follow, obey and love a God who desires to bless us. And that desire flows out of his desire for a true relationship with us. As we live in accordance with his will through obedience to his word and his direction by the Holy Spirit, God blesses us.
2). Don’t settle for anything less than God’s blessing. When you read Psalm 128:1-4, you see this whole concept of God’s desire to bless us. Of course, as you read it, keep in mind that this is not the only way that he blesses. However, notice that this is a way. So often we equate being blessed with creature comforts that last or fulfill for a moment. God wants to bless us with lasting fulfillment, with things that ultimately and truly matter and last.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. ― 128:1,2
“Blessed is EVERYONE who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!” God’s blessing is not for the elite, but rather the awe-inspired obedient. And the avenue by which he blesses us is our faithfulness to the “labor of our hands.” And God’s blessing? “It shall be well with you.”
And what is AN example (not the only example of God’s blessing)?
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. ― 128:3,4
So there are two responses to this. One, if it’s a good season for you and your family you completely agree with this verse and scream out an hearty “Amen!” Or two, if this is a time of distress for your family, you question the validity of God’s word and/or begin to question if you fear him enough. In response to that let me remind you of a few things:
- To honestly engage in introspection on our own relationship with God is always healthy. Don’t worry about that, but also don’t jump to conclusions that everything bad in your life is the cause of your lack of faith in God (the whole book of Job pretty much destroys that argument). But there may things that you need to deal with that are causing the distress in your life.
- To question God’s word is to begin to elevate your perspective and viewpoint above that of the perspective and expressed word and will of God. That’s where pride steps in so subtly to move us away from trusting a loving Father who knows his plans for us so that we will settle for our own limited perspectives on everything for moments of instant gratification that are not “well with you.”
- God does not live in a limited and linear perspective of time. He sees EVERYTHING. He is unfolding his plan and is always faithful. You may not see the blessings of God at this moment, in spite of the fact that you truly believe that you are walking in obedience to God as you abide in Jesus, but you will. We are to remain faithful in obedience, and as we do we will see the “fruit of the labor of our hands.” He doesn’t promise instant gratification. Rather, he promises his blessing us for our faithful labor and obedience to him. He will reveal his blessing. You will see them. I promise. So hang in there.
So I close this up with a blessing that is thousands of years old. I’ve heard it blessed over me and my brothers and sisters during hundreds of worship gatherings throughout the years.
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” ― Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)
Love you all more than you know,