2009-09-01 - God's Blessings
Haggai 2:19, "From this day on, I will bless you."
The book of Haggai is much a story about how God's people had neglected Him, and how, by Haggai's Word from the Lord to them, they repented and started to follow Him. The specifics of the people forsaking the Lord mainly concern the building of God's House, which the people were neglecting. However, the specifics of God's judgment upon the people related to every area of their life. Haggai comes and delivers God's message to the people to get right with God, they do, and we have the promise given by the Lord, to the people, that He will bless them. The Lord promises just as the people had returned to Him, that so also He would return to them. It is a precious promise for us sinners. We see it spelled out nicely here, that when God's people go their own way God takes away His blessing. Equally, however, we see that when the people of God return to Him and seek Him, He restores His blessings.
Of course, there is much for us here to apply to ourselves. Would we have the favor and blessing of the True God? Here we are given a window into the circumstances in which the Lord shows His blessing. He blesses those who obey Him, seek Him and trust Him. There is no greater gift than we can aspire unto, than the blessing of the Lord. There are seasons often of blessing from the Lord that the Christian experiences. There are times when things seem to be going well, and all appears to be in order. Other times we feel like everything is going wrong, and we are looking at the prospects of burying someone we love dearly, or we ourselves are facing physical, emotional or economic hardships. We wonder where the blessing of God is, in the hard times. We wonder less about the blessing of God when times are good. The experienced Christian says, "It doesn't matter, I will take the good and the bad from the Lord, because if it is from the Lord, it is always good." If the Lord's will is being done, the mature Christian can say he/she is blessed, even when all around seems like it is falling apart. They can say with Job, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord," Job 1:21.
I would like to consider one more thing, while thinking about the blessing of the Lord. I wonder if many miss out on the Lord's blessings because they harbor some secret sin in their life. I wonder if there is something that many of us love more than we love Jesus. We know it is displeasing to the Lord, but we cling to that sin more than we do to Jesus Christ. I am thinking about that one thing that we might be devastated if anyone knew about. It might be an indulgence of the flesh that we sneak in, when we are sure we can get away with it. It might be something else. We are all wise enough to know that we never "get away" with anything, because we serve the Living God who sees and knows all things. Is it an unrepented sin? Is it a sin indulged or delighted in? These will stop the gates of Heaven from opening up the blessing of God unto us. When we hate sin and love holiness, we will know God's blessings. But if we love sin and seek God's blessing - that blessing will always be a mirage we never experience in our lives.
Soli Deo Gloria,