Thursday, January 11, 2015
Psalm 128:1-6 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! 2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. 5 The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! 6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!
It brings joy to my heart to hear the promise that the LORD, seated on the throne of Zion, blesses us all the days of our lives.
However, we must be very careful that after receiving the words of blessing, we do not define the type of blessing we want to receive. In this Psalm, God describes how He wants us to experience His blessing.
The first way God wants us to experience true blessing is in the prosperity of Jerusalem. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were the chosen people of God to accomplish His glorious purpose. Jerusalem was the center of their spiritual and political presence in the world. When Jerusalem rejected the Messiah, God removed His blessing from them for a time, and established the church as the living organism through which His will is being accomplished.
Until Jesus returns and personally fulfills His covenant with Israel, the church is God’s chosen instrument of revealing His glory on the earth. The Body of Christ is spiritual Jerusalem in this age. God’s blessing today is most fully experienced when the church of Jesus Christ is prospering. We personally experience that blessing when we are actively involved in it.
But how do we measure the prosperity of the church? We are tempted to measure God’s blessing using human standards: attendance, budget, and building size. Yet none of these is the indicator of God’s blessing, but they all can be the product of His blessing.
God’s blessing is being experienced in a church that is winning souls to Christ and discipling them to be true worshippers who are in turn making more disciples as they follow Jesus. We are to measure the blessing of God in our lives by our involvement in the spiritual prosperity of the church. Please be clear – the spiritual prosperity of the church is measured by one single criteria – the proclamation of the Gospel and the power of God to save people from their sins.
The second defined area of blessing in this Psalm is the heritage of family that we leave. Of all the investments we could make with our time, energy, skills, and resources, none exceeds, in God’s heart, the blessings and benefits of family.
No matter how careful you are to invest wisely in the things of this world, and no matter how you choose to use them for God’s glory, none of them are guaranteed. Your wealth will go to someone else. You will be replaced someday by someone else who will do your job, maybe better than you did. Your “toys” will break down or become the property of another. No matter how well you use your resources and things to serve God today, they are not guaranteed to remain in God’s use when they are no longer yours.
But what you invest in the spiritual heritage of your family will always remain in God’s hands. You will live to see your children’s children serving God, because you invested the best of your life in their spiritual heritage. They will be the crown of your life. (Proverbs 17:6 – Children’s children are a crown to the aged.) From generation to generation, the glory of God will continue to be seen in the lives of the people whom you have impacted for Christ.
There are many blessings God has promised, but for this day, consider the priority of these two blessings. I cannot imagine a greater experience of God’s blessing than to know that I have personally been involved in the accomplishing of Christ’s great commission to see the lost get saved and discipled; and to invest in my family to ensure that from generation to generation the love of God is visible to the world.
May the blessing of the Lord from Zion fall on us all in the same way.