Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The True Secret of Blessedness and Well-Being - Psalm 128

"How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in His ways.
When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
you will be happy and it will be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine,
within your house,
your children like olive plants
around your table.
Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion,
and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
Indeed, may you see your children's children.
Peace be upon Israel!
(Psalm 128)

All of us want a blessing. We naturally want things to go well for us. We long to prosper, to flourish, to succeed in life. Yet, many flounder and fumble and falter and fail. Life is hard. Things don't go as we would devise. Our plans don't always execute as orchestrated. What to do? How to respond? How can we be blessed?

Blessed and earthly successed are not always synonymous. Real prosperity doesn't necessarily mean an expansion of goods and an increase of worldy gain. True blessedness and ultimate well-being are not found without but within. The ninth psalm of ascent gives us the true secret of true blessedness and the one key that shall truly unlock everlasting well-being.

The psalmist wrtes:"How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways."

Do you long for blessing? It is available for you - no matter who you are - no matter what you've done - no matter where you've come from. Blessedness is a gift that "everyone" can own. But it comes from a place that our natural inclinations would never look. Being blessed comes from fearing God.

Doesn't it echo Solomon's words from Ecclesiastes 12?!

"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man."

A quick perusal of just a few of the Proverbs will give us further examples of the blessedness of fearing God - of rightly revering Him, humbly honoring Him, and acquiescing to His authority.

- "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge." - Proverbs 1:7
- "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom." - Proverbs 9:10
- "The fear of the LORD prolongs life." - Proverbs 10:27
- "In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence." - Proverbs 14:26
- "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life." - Proverbs 14:27

By grace through faith in Christ, fear God and walk in His ways. There you will find a fountain of life and a river whose banks overflow with true blessedness.

The psalmist goes on to tell us that in this reverant fear and faithful walking we shall find well-being. He states, "It will be well with you."

I love Matthew Henry's take on this:

"Whatever befalls you, good shall be brought out of it. It shall be well with you while you live, better when you die, and best of all to eternity."
No wonder Solomon tells us that "in the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence." Truly all things are working together for our good - even death itself!

Two particular categories of terrestrial blessedness are given as examples in this psalm. The blessedness of successful labor and the blessedness of a godly family.

A god-fearing man is a god-fearing worker. Whatever he does he does unto the LORD and therefore he seeks to do his job as well as is possible. He will be honest. He will be diligent. He will be gracious. He will be faithful. Therefore he "shall eat of the fruit of his hands."
"He shall have something to do (an idle life is a miserable life) and he shall succeed in his emplyoments and enjoy what he gets." (Henry)
A god-fearing man is a god-fearing husband and father. He will seek to love his wife and lead his children in ways that will bring honor and glory and praise to His God. He will seek to nurture and protect and cherish his wife as a precious fruitful vine. He shall seek to teach and train and build up his children cultivating them carefully as young olive plants that will one day grow into strong olive trees.

Blessing - real blessing...

Do you long for it? It can be yours. It is for "everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways."
"In every nation he that fears the LORD and walks in His ways is accepted of Him and therefore is blessed by Him whether he be high or low, rich or poor. In this world, if religion rule him it will protect and enrich him." (Matthew Henry)
Are you fearing? Are you walking? Ultimately, are you resting upon the only One who can enable you to - the Lord Jesus Christ? He is the key that unlocks the vault of true blessing. He is the One who's active obedience in fearing God and keeping the commandments enables you so to do.

Be blessed - everyone of you - be blessed!

In His glorious grace,

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