Blessed and Not Blessed
What is the real recipe for blessing?
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1: 1-3
There are two types of blessings: spiritual and temporal/material
In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus discusses the spiritual ones Matt 5: 1-12
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him,2and He began to teach them, saying:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Deuteronmy 28 discusses the blessings that come with obedience to God:
Blessings for Obedience
28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.
2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.
10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.
11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
Categories of blessed / not blessed people:
1. Godless and blessed, as one is worldly and fits into worldly environments
2. Godless and not blessed
3. Faithful and blessed spiritually, but do not prosper in a material way
4. Faithful and blessed materially, but not spiritually
5. Faithful and not blessed at all
For believers, being faithful and blessed both spiritually and materially is ideal.
But there are people who consider themselves faithful, but not “blessed.”
So, why are some faithful and blessed and others not blessed?
Faithful and blessed
1. Obedient to Word of God
2. Not obedient to Word of God, but fit into the world system, which accepts and promotes them. (In this case, they are not as faithful as they think they are.)
Faithful and spiritually blessed, but does not prosper
Obedient to Word of God, in a partial way, due to partial acceptance of the Word.
Faithful and not blessed
1. Not obedient to Word of God, and do not fit into world system
2. Curses coming in from spiritual attacks. (different topic)
How can one be partially obedient to the Word of God?
1. ignorance of the Word
2. selective obedience to the Word.
Selective obedience usually occurs due to the belief system that Grace replaces all the law.
It is true that we are saved by grace alone, and not works.
The assumption is that ALL the law is replaced by grace and faith, and so one can neglect or omit obedience to most of the Torah commandments, and live by faith alone.
Obeying God’s commandments is seen as being “under the law.”
Why have law?
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24-25
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Gal 5:18
You can obey the law without being “under the law.”
Being under the law implies a burden.
One can obey without feeling burdened. In fact, the Torah commandments were meant to offer protection and freedom to those who obeyed them.
It can be a joy, NOT a burden, to obey God.
If you are led by the Spirit, you are not “under” the law, but you will still seek and desire to obey it, because it reflects God’s will, and obedience results in His protection and blessings.
Works vs. Obedience
Salivation by Works assumes that one’s own merits can stand alone, and merit heaven.
The kind of works may or may not be related to adhering to Torah commandments.
Example: One may also decide on performing certain duties or tasks in order to merit favor with God, such as working for the church, or writing books on bible topics.
Obedience has nothing to do with achieving salvation. It is a result of salvation. A saved soul will hate sin. The desire to obey God will be there, and the thought of offending God in any way would be repugnant to him.
Obedience is possible only when one knows what is to be obeyed, that is, one must know God’s will first (Torah) before one can strive to obey it, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
You cannot obey if you are ignorant.
While some believe that the Holy spirit automatically drops the entire will of God into someone’s brain when they get saved, He doesn’t.
What He does do is infuse the DESIRE to know the will of God and the DESIRE to read and obey the Word of God.
If the person follows the leading of the Holy Spirit, then he will become informed, and better able to obey God with an earnest heart.
The law as obsolete or passed away
What law has been done away with ? Answer is, the sacrificial laws for sin:
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin Heb 10:18
Scripture does not support the dismissal of ALL commandments…it only indicates that the need for sacrifices have been replaced with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
“Sacrifice for sins” has been nailed to the cross.
Other commandments have not BEEN nailed to the cross, and we still have to obey them.
We still have to keep the Sabbath, honor our parents, not cheat, steal or commit adultery. We still are not to covet our neighbor’s possessions.
We still have to tell the truth, and pay restitution to others, when we damage their goods, and feed the poor.
We still have to observe cleanliness, avoid contaminated meats, and pray and give thanks for what God has given us.
How much we are blessed is up to us.
We can sin, or avoid it.
We can believe, or disbelieve.
We can obey, or not obey.
Blessings are both spiritual and physical.
We can have both kinds of blessings, or just one kind.
We should not limit ourselves.
Being under grace should free ourselves to learn all about the law, and delight in it.
And then whatever we do will prosper.