Sunday, September 02, 2007

Blessed? (Psalms 1)

I finally enrolled in another online Bible Study at I chose Psalm 1; The Fruitful Tree.

Psalm 1 is one of my favorite passages of the Bible. It's short, straight to the point, and easy to understand. And, whenever I feel like I'm kinda floundering (like I currently feel), it's good instruction that I can immediately apply to get back on track.

However, like most of the Bible, it's deep too. Over the years I have read it many, many times, even committing to memory and going over it often in my mind…

So, when I went to do my first lesson a couple of days ago, I expected sort of a 'refresher'…but it was much more than that. Many thoughts came from that first lesson--one of them being a question: What does 'blessed' really mean from God's viewpoint? Psalm 1 begins: "Blessed is the man…"

The majority of the time when I hear (or use) the word 'blessed', it is in conjunction with material things or personal comfort. This is espeically true when I watch most any tv preacher. "Send your money, and you will receive a blessing." Or, "Give, and God will bless you with your heart's desire." Or, "Attend this church, and you will be blessed."

Or something along those lines…

Often I hear, (or say) "God has blessed me with _______." The blank is usually filled in with a house, a car, a job, a child, a good marriage, good health, and the list goes on.

If one does not have children, a car, a job, a good marriage, good health, etc., does that mean that they are not blessed??

If blessed means having material things or personal comfort, then Bill Gates is very blessed by God, and Mother Theresa was not?

In 2004, I received a raise out of the blue to buy a good, dependable vechicle. I said, "God has blessed me…"

Two months later, we were 'let go' from our jobs. Our income being cut in half, we ended up in backruptcy 6 months later, losing everything.

Was I 'unblessed'? I sure thought I was. Why would God 'bless' me with something, then take it away? Or, maybe I misunderstood what it really means to be blessed by God…

So, what does it mean to be blessed by God?

Is there anywhere in the Bible that directly links God's blessing with material things or personal comfort? I am not sure…I think that there may be a few of those occasions, but far more often, being blessed means something way beyond that…

For instance, in Matthew 5—

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Blessed are those who mourn
Blessed are the meek
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Blessed are the merciful
Blessed are the pure in heart
Blessed are the peacemakers
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

I guess the bottom line is that I think the concept of being blessed by God is generally misunderstood and misused. And, I think that if I really understood it, it would change my life. While I am continuing to check this out, let me know if you have any thoughts to offer on the matter…

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