Friday, March 16, 2012

Blessings Overtake Obedient Ones


 Read Proverbs 10:6, 7. Just before the nation of Israel entered the Promised Land, Jehovah indicated that remarkable prosperity and protection would be theirs if they obeyed his voice. (Deut. 28:1, 2) Jehovah’s blessings would not just come upon God’s people but would “overtake” them. For those obedient ones, the blessings would be absolutely certain.

 With what attitude were the Israelites to be obedient? God’s Law stated that he would be displeased if his people failed to serve him “with rejoicing and joy of heart.” (Read Deuteronomy 28:45-47.) Jehovah deserves more than mechanical obedience to specific orders, such as can be performed even by animals or demons. (Mark 1:27; Jas. 3:3) Genuine obedience to God is an expression of love. It is marked by joy that stems from faith that Jehovah’s commandments are not burdensome and that “he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”—Heb. 11:6; 1 John 5:3.

 Consider how such trusting obedience might have been manifested by keeping the law stated at Deuteronomy 15:7, 8. (Read.) Begrudging compliance with that law might have resulted in some initial relief to the poor, but would it have engendered good relationships and an atmosphere of warmth among God’s people? More important, would it have reflected faith in Jehovah’s ability to provide for his servants and appreciation for the opportunity to mirror his generosity? Hardly! God took note of the heart condition of the truly generous person and promised to bless him in his every deed and every undertaking. (Deut. 15:10) Faith in that promise would give rise to action and would result in many rich blessings.—Prov. 28:20.

 In addition to having faith in Jehovah as the Rewarder, Hebrews 11:6 highlights another quality that is needed to receive God’s blessing. Note that Jehovah rewards those “earnestly seeking him.” The original-language word used here implies intensity and concentrated effort. How that should assure us of the outworking of the blessing! Its source is the only true God, “who cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2) He has shown over the millenniums that what he promises is absolutely trustworthy. His words never fail; they always come true. (Isa. 55:11) So we can be thoroughly confident that if we manifest true faith, he will in our case prove to be a Rewarder.

 Jesus Christ proved to be the primary part of Abraham’s “seed.” Anointed Christians form the secondary part of that foretold “seed.” They have been commissioned to “declare abroad the excellencies of the one that called [them] out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (Gal. 3:7-9, 14, 16, 26-29; 1 Pet. 2:9) We cannot hope to acquire a good relationship with Jehovah if we ignore those whom Jesus has appointed to care for his belongings. Without the assistance of “the faithful and discreet slave,” we would neither understand the full import of what we read in God’s Word nor know how to apply it. (Matt. 24:45-47) By putting into practice the things we are learning from the Scriptures, we can secure ourselves God’s blessing.

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Christian view the Bible as the inspired Word of God, absolute truth, beneficial for teaching and disciplining mankind.