HE HATH BLESSED

“Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.”
Numbers 23:20

Balak, the king of the Moabites, had employed Balaam, hoping that Balaam might curse the people of God. God directly said to Balaam, “thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed” (Numbers 22:12). What a great thing it is to know that God has commanded a blessing on His people! Balak then sent another group of messengers to Balaam, offering him greater compensation if he would curse Israel. Attracted by this proposal, Balaam went to God the second time about the possibility of cursing Israel. Of course, God was angered by this action on Balaam’s part. The Lord repeatedly confirmed to Balaam that Israel was blessed and should not be cursed.

In another place, Balaam declared to Balak, “How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed?” (Numbers 23:8). Also, concerning Israel he said, “Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee” (Numbers 24:9). Balak’s anger was fierce against Balaam. Instead of cursing Israel, Balaam had blessed them. Balaam’s message in our text is worth considering, “Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.”

It is good to know that others cannot remove God’s blessing from our lives. Balaam could not curse the people whom God had blessed and would be blessing. Even though
Balak wanted them cursed, and Balaam for a fee was willing to curse them, God would not allow these men to withdraw His blessing from those He loved.

This does not mean that Israel themselves could not forfeit blessings or disqualify themselves from being fully blessed. We know that this can occur, and most certainly it has occurred. By our disobedience or lack of faith, we may miss out on some of God’s great blessings for our lives. Someone may, as was seen in Balak, want to see us cursed instead of being blessed. But when God has blessed, others “cannot reverse it.”

There is an additional helpful message in this passage. We must be careful not to want to curse those God has blessed. Satan would attempt to use us, as Balak wanted to use Balaam, to curse those whom God has blessed. We should not cooperate with the enemy’s desires to verbally attack those that God has pronounced blessing upon.

BLESSED ARE THE FAITHFUL

“Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.”
Luke 12:37

Faithfulness is a quality that is very often lacking in the moral fabric of men. It is an interesting attribute in that it requires something that every individual can provide. Anyone can and should be faithful. However, the Scripture says, “a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). It is difficult to find someone who is faithful and who remains faithful. We all know those who seemed to want to be faithful and appeared to be faithful for a while, but in time, they did not keep the charge that was committed to them.

True faithfulness is not something that is demonstrated initially, or even occasionally. A married person who is occasionally unfaithful to his or her spouse is not considered faithful. God intends for us to be faithful until death or until He comes. Our text tells us that there will be a special blessing for those “servants” who remain true to the Master and are faithful when He returns.

The Scripture says, “Blessed are those servants.” We are God’s servants. We belong to Him, and we have committed ourselves to serve Him. We are not to serve our own interests and agendas, but we are to serve our Master, Jesus Christ. How long are we to serve? Until we are no longer excited about serving? Until our bodies are old and aching? We are to serve Him until He comes. THE BLESSED MAN is the servant “whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching.” The Lord Jesus Christ will come again to this earth. We are to serve our Savior until He comes. Have you ever known someone who seemed to be a loyal worker as long as someone was watching over him, or until the supervisor was out of sight? This is not a description of faithful service.

When Jesus comes, or when we go to be with the Lord, will we be found faithful? Those who are faithful will be rewarded. To those He finds watching, the Bible says, “he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” This blessing is reserved for those who are found faithfully serving Jesus to the end. He will serve those who have been faithful servants. May He find us faithful.

THE RESULT OF OUR BLESSING

“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.”
Psalm 67:1, 2, 7

Why is it that we should want God to bless us? Besides the fact that it will provide a more meaningful life to us, and more glory to God, the psalmist sings of how it will affect the world around us. This song requests God’s blessings for His children and asks that God would “cause his face to shine upon us” that His “way may be known upon earth.” His face shining upon us speaks of His presence and His favor. As much as we need all things He might do for us, more than that, we need Him. Not only do we need Him and His blessings for our sakes, we also need Him for the sake of others. Others need to see that our God is real and active in our personal lives.

There are many religions in our world. False gods are in abundance. Idolatry takes many forms. Some people worship the planet and the creation. Misled religions worship tradition that is mixed with Bible truth. Others hold to extra-Biblical writings they believe are sacred and elevate them above the Word of God. All of these practices stand in direct contrast to Bible Christianity. They may have a form of godliness, but they deny the basic tenets of true Biblical worship.

What separates Christianity from the rest? The answer has to do with our God and our Savior. Our God is Creator, the only true and living God, and He has manifested Himself to us in numerous ways. He has made Himself known through His creative acts, through His inspired Word, through His virgin-born Son who died for us and rose from the dead, and through His peculiar people.

The world needs to see that God is real, and He is working in the lives of His children. When Moses was pleading with God about the future journeys of the Israelites, the servant of the Lord made this comment, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence” (Exodus 33:15). It was the presence of God with His people, working with and through them, that made them unique. This is the reason we need His blessing, that the confused world that we live in might see that our God is not just a code or creed, but a living Person among us.

THE BLESSING OF CONSECRATION

“For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.”
Exodus 32:29

Moses had just returned from the mount where he had been communing with God for forty days. God warned Moses that when he came back into the camp, he would find that the people had corrupted themselves, made a golden calf, and were sacrificing to it. However, Moses was not prepared for what he saw. The man of God was overtaken with grief and anger at the sight of such wickedness. He rebuked Aaron and pronounced judgment on the people who had turned to idolatry. Moses made a public call for those who would stand with him to come forward. The sons of Levi responded. They were then commissioned to slay those committed to idolatry. Three thousand men were slain.

In giving the sons of Levi their assignment, Moses called them to “Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.” This would be no easy task because they would have to execute some of their closest relatives, friends, or neighbors. But they were promised a blessing from God if they would consecrate themselves. The word consecrate means “to be devoted or to be given wholly.” These men were to be given wholly to God and to their task. It would take that kind of commitment or surrender to carry out God’s instructions, but God would see to it that they were adequately blessed.

God is still looking for men and women who will be consecrated to Him, and be willing to obey His call, whatever that might be. He needs servants who will be fully given to His will and consumed with pleasing Him. Sometimes God’s plan for our lives will not be easy or convenient. There will be decisions we have to make that are not popular. Just as these sons of Levi were to enforce judgment on people they were close to, we also may find ourselves on the side of criticism or unpopularity if we stand with God, even from those we love and care for deeply.

If people are not consecrated to God completely, they will not be able to follow Him faithfully. Are you consecrated to Him? As they were consecrated to Him, He promised to “bestow upon you a blessing this day.”

BLESSED ARE THOSE THAT BELIEVE

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
John 20:29

Thomas is well known for his doubting. On the same Sunday evening that Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His church. However, Thomas was not in the assembly. When the disciples later reported to Thomas that he had indeed missed this appearance of the Savior, he said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). He would not believe based on the testimony of another, but would only believe if he saw for himself.

The following Sunday evening Jesus appeared again to this group, this time with Thomas in the company. When Thomas saw the evidence of His wounds, he declared, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). To which Jesus answered with our text, saying, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

What an encouraging confession regarding THE BLESSED MAN. Blessed are they that live by faith. Blessed are they who believe without seeing. Perhaps we all have envied those who witnessed the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ firsthand, during His earthly ministry. What a blessing it would have been to see someone raised from the dead or see a blind person receive his sight! And yet, it is not only those who have seen that are blessed. Jesus promised special blessing for the ones who have not seen yet still believe. We have never seen the cross, but by faith, we know that Jesus died there for us. We may have never seen the empty tomb, but with the eye of faith, we know that Jesus rose from the dead.

Thomas spent a week in doubting and misery because he did not believe the truth concerning Jesus. Because he did not trust, he missed out on a week of blessing, when he could have been rejoicing in the victory of the cross and resurrection.

There are promised blessings to those who by faith believe what God says. Psalm 2:12 says, “Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” THE BLESSED MAN believes the testimony of Scripture and trusts the Lord. Through faith, the unseen reality becomes real to us, and we walk in the blessing of it.

HIS SEED SHALL BE MIGHTY

“Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.”
Psalm 112:1, 2

There are many different ways to measure the blessings that are promised to God’s children. In this life, He richly blesses us daily. The psalmist says that He “daily loadeth us with benefits” (Psalm 68:19). Undoubtedly, we fail to recognize many, perhaps even most, of the ways God helps us and blesses us throughout our days. We also realize, of course, that the best is yet to come, and that our greatest blessings wait for us in Heaven. God blesses us in this life and in eternity.

However, there is another way that God blesses those who love Him. These blessings are not always in our lifetime for us to see and enjoy, nor are they in Heaven awaiting us. In several places, the Bible encourages us with the assurance that our posterity, the generations that succeed us, can be blessed as a result of what God does in our lives. Our text tells us of THE BLESSED MAN, “His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” What great hope we find in this promise! There is a portion of our blessing that can be realized by those who follow us. This does not, of course, negate each person’s individual responsibility. The disobedience of children will not be ignored because they had godly parents. Still, the Bible teaches us that successive generations of God-fearing Christians will be influenced because of their spiritual predecessors.

All of us have heard lies that sound something like this, “It’s my life. What I do will only affect me and no one else.” We would all agree that such logic is absolutely false. The way we live, and the decisions we make, can have an influence that reverberates throughout generations that follow us. It is very selfish for one generation not to consider their impact on succeeding generations.

This truth places great responsibility and purpose on parents. The best investment we can make for the virtue and success of our children is to live our lives for Jesus Christ. We can have a positive affect on our world even after we are gone. We need to take heed that we live in such a way as not to forfeit blessings that might be experienced by the “generation of the upright.”

THE BLESSING OF CHASTISEMENT

“Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;”
Psalm 94:12

Most of us have probably never heard anyone speak enthusiastically about what a blessing it is to be chastised. Going through correction, whether from a parent who is
teaching us, or from our Lord who instructs us, is not at all pleasant. Our text and much personal experience teach us that THE BLESSED MAN will experience and endure
chastening. Although correction is painful, it can truly bring blessing.

Why would we consider chastisement a blessing? Chastisement is a sign of sonship. We are reminded that we belong to God when He corrects us. The writer of Hebrews says, “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons” (Hebrews 12:7). Anyone who can sin and not be chastised is not a child of God. It also says that the Lord “scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6). Every true Christian will experience chastening, and it is evidence that God is our Father. It is not enjoyable to be chastened, but it lets us know that God is concerned about the welfare and conduct of His children.

Chastisement is also a manifestation of God’s love. Although there are parents who may correct their children in anger, this should not be the case. The Bible says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth” (Hebrews 12:6). God corrects us because He loves us. When our Heavenly Father disciplines us because we sin, it lets us know that He cares. He loves us too much to let us continue in our selfish and sinful living.

Another reason we might say that chastisement is a blessing is because it is a deterrent from disobedience. One of the reasons we correct our children is to cause them to do what is right and to discourage them from sin. God’s chastening serves us in the same way. It is good for us to experience God’s hand of loving discipline that we might learn not to disobey Him. A healthy fear of God encourages us to turn from our sin.

In addition, we consider chastisement a blessing because it builds character in us. Hebrews 12:10, 11 teaches us that we are chastened “that we might be partakers of his holiness,” and that chastisement “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” God’s chastisement helps us become what we know we ought to be.

THE BLESSED MAN IS A BLESSING

“And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.”
Genesis 39:3-5

Joseph’s lot in life, at least during this portion of it, would not fit into the definition of what many would call THE BLESSED MAN. His brothers, who initially conspired to slay him, had betrayed him. They eventually decided to sell him to some Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver, who in turn sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. Joseph found himself in Egypt, hundreds of miles from home, alone in a foreign country, and forsaken.

But was he really alone? The Word of God says that, “the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man” (Genesis 39:2). God was blessing Joseph even through his times of adversity. This can be such a comforting truth for us. When God allows trials to come, it should not be interpreted as the absence of blessing. Perhaps God is going to bless us in the midst of our storms. God’s Word says that Joseph was prospering in his troubles.

The way we view our circumstances and our demeanor in them, will greatly affect the outcome. God was so mightily blessing Joseph that it became apparent to those who
were around him. Our text says, “his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” This Egyptian master could see the evidence of God’s blessing in Joseph. As Joseph served him, his master “made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.”

It soon became apparent that God was not only blessing Joseph, He was also blessing Joseph’s master. The testimony of God’s Word is powerful, “the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.” This is one of the reasons God so wants to bless us. He wants us to be a blessing to others.

BLESSED IN OBEDIENCE

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God…”
Deuteronomy 11:26-28

What a gracious God our Lord is! Our text tells us He set before Israel “a blessing and a curse.” They would be blessed if they would “obey the commandments of the LORD your God.” This verse reveals not only the care He has for us in that He promises and provides blessing for our journey, but also the conduct He expects of us. He gives His children the responsibility to obey Him. God’s blessings are promised to them that obey His commandments.

He did not make us as machines that are programmed to follow Him without any love or devotion on our part. He wants us to obey Him and He blesses us when we do, but He leaves choices to us. This, in no way, diminishes His power and sovereignty. It is the way He sovereignly designed us, that we would love and serve Him by choice, preferring His will above our own. As God’s beloved children, saved by His marvelous grace, we are to choose the path of obedience and submission to Him.

Everyone wants to enjoy life and experience blessings. However, we face decisions that determine how those blessings might be enjoyed or experienced. Will we choose to obey God and His commandments, and trust that blessings will follow? Or, will we seek to find our own way of being blessed, while disregarding His will? One is a life of faith, love, and obedience. The other is a life of self-will, pride, and self-determination. These choices are ours to make, but if we do not follow the path of obedience, we will not see the Lord’s blessings that otherwise might have been ours.

In another place, God promised Israel that if they would diligently obey His commandments, “All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt
hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God” (Deuteronomy 28:2). Blessings come to those who obey. Another place says, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). To obey is a choice that we make every day, and it is a choice that leads to God’s blessing.

THE BLESSING OF SINS FORGIVEN

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”
Psalm 32:1, 2

To those who know Christ as Savior and have experienced the new birth, this would have to be considered one of our most appreciated blessings. THE BLESSED MAN has been forgiven of his sins, “the LORD imputeth not iniquity” unto him. That means that God does not count or hold our sins against us. Oh, what a wonder this is!

As remarkable as it may now seem to some of us, the matter of personal transgression is not an important issue to most of our world, and the reason is simple. The world has never been convicted nor enlightened concerning the seriousness or the consequences of rebellion. The average person goes through his day with little regard for his individual sin. If he thinks at all of his sinful acts, it is only in terms of what it might cost him or how it might hinder some human relationship. It is probably not in terms of what it means to God. Lost people do what comes naturally; they sin.

But, when the Spirit of God begins to work in a person’s heart, his feelings about his sin changes. The Holy Spirit’s ministry, in part, is to “reprove the world of sin” (John 16:8). When God showed us that we were sinners, our sin became much more serious to us. We began to realize that our sin was against God, and that it separated us from our Creator and all that He has in store for us. The Word of God showed us that our sin, if not forgiven, would condemn us to an eternity of torment in hell. There was nothing we could do of ourselves to rectify our sin problem. Then we heard the good news that Christ died for our sins. He paid the entire price for our forgiveness by His death on the cross, then He rose from the dead. God offered us eternal life and the forgiveness of sins, if we would repent and place our faith in Jesus Christ, receiving Him as our Savior and Lord. The Bible then declares us justified, forgiven of all our sins.

Our text tells us, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” The only thing that can provide permanent covering and cleansing of our sins is the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ. Then we begin to understand the wonder of THE BLESSING OF SINS FORGIVEN.