(029) – THE GREAT BLESSING

 

Blessing is an inheritance of the blessed of God — “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). This blessing is not inherited, as it was in the Old Testament, that is, my son does not inherit the kingdom of God because I belong to God. Blessing, in the Old Testament, were hereditary: “Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever” (Ps. 89:35,36); “And they shall live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they and their sons, and their sons’ sons, forever” (Ezek. 37:25); “And all your sons will be taught of the Lord; And the well-being of your sons will be great” (Is. 54:13); “Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms” (Is. 60:4). Isaac inherited the blessing of Abraham, and Jacob inherited the blessing of Isaac, and Joseph inherited the blessing of Jacob (Gen. 28:10-15; 1 Chr. 5:2).

In Gen. 9, Jacob blessed his twelve sons, heads of the twelve tribes of Israel, before he died, and the blessing multiplied in many future generations. Paul explains that such blessing of future generations, that is, hereditary, is not a true one, because there is only one blessing: THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ” (Gal. 3:16).

The blessing with which Jesus blesses is not of this world. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). To Paul, this was the great blessing. “And I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ (Rom. 15:29). Jesus Christ could not bless with earthly blessings, because he declares that he is not of this world himself  (John 8:23).

The blessing of this world is a material blessing given by Jehovah. Abraham, the first one to be blessed, enriched greatly in Egypt, and the price of those riches was to give his wife, Sarai, as Pharaoh’s concubine (Gen. 12:10-16). Jehovah promised that his people would be rich by the time they left Egypt, after 400 years of slavery (Gen. 15:13,14). The promise was repeated in Ex. 3:22. The Egyptians, alarmed with the death of their first-born, allowed the Israelites to plunder them. “Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing…Thus they plundered the Egyptians” (Ex. 12:35,36). And the people of Israel departed from their land. The Egyptians, realizing that they were robbed and plundered, went after Israel, bur Jehovah drowned them in the sea (Ex. 14:15-31). That was a strategy of Jehovah in order to destroy the Egyptians and exalt himself (Ex. 14:17).

This blessing of Jehovah turned into a curse, because, with the Egyptian gold, Aaron made the golden calf and Jehovah decided to destroy them (Ex. 32:1-10). How can God give a blessing that can turn into a curse? It is unbelievable, but it is true, because it was a plan conceived by Jehovah in order to kill those ones and these ones. Gold! Jehovah gave Solomon, besides wisdom, riches and glory (1 Kings 3:13). That wealth was maintained by heavy taxes. With Solomon’s death, the people cried out to Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, saying, “Your father made our yoke hard; therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you” (1 Kings 3:13) Rehoboam, following his father’s example, the greatest wise of the world, wisdom given by Jehovah, said, “Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions” (1 Kings 12:11). The kingdom, then, split in two, and there was war between them.

The wealth given to Solomon by Jehovah was a curse to the people and to the kingdom. It is a frightening reality! Those riches of Jehovah were given through extortion of a suffering and hungry people. To our surprise, Solomon was the author of a fantastic proverb, “It is the blessing of Jehovah that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it” (Prov. 10:22). Solomon had not worked to get his riches, so he could write this proverb. The sorrow part belonged to the people.

Riches and health were signs of the blessing of Jehovah; sicknesses, pestilences, misery and slavery were a sigh of Jehovah’s curse. Job’s three friends could not understand his disgrace, for this reason they accused him of sin, without cause (Job. 11:2-6). On the other hand, the blessed of Jehovah, rich and healthy, brought very generous offers by the time of the feasts. Jehovah himself demanded these offerings. “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before Jehovah your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before Jehovah empty handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of Jehovah your God which He has given you” (Deut. 16:16,17). A young man blessed by Jehovah, that is, extremely rich, came near Jesus and said to him, “What good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16). This rich young man expected to make a meaty offering to charity, or something similar. Jesus, to his surprise, asked him to renounce to Jehovah’s blessing. It was a really violent command on the part of Jesus, for to renounce to the blessing of Jehovah was to renounce Jehovah himself, and the rich young man could not—he renounced to the blessing of Jesus, that is, the eternal life, to be with the God of the silver and gold (Matt. 19:21-24). The blessing of Jehovah signified to have many children and many wives. Davis had seventeen, and Solomon had one thousand women. This blessing is described in Ps. 128:1-6. Well, Jesus tells us to renounce the carnal family, saying that, in the kingdom of heaven, the relationships are different ones (Matt. 12:46-50; Luke 14:26). Children of the flesh are so important to Jehovah, that he makes dead man to bear children, whereas Jesus tells men to renounce their children (Deut. 25:5-10). This option to enter the kingdom of heaven causes so much pain, that Paul calls it the crucifixion of the flesh. 

 

By Pastor Olavo  Silveira Pereira

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