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Peace restored;- Blessing and prosperity

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posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 05:04 PM
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“Blessing” is the act of doing good by speaking [EU-LOGIA].

When God blesses men, his word contains a gift.
When men bless each other, as Jacob blessed his sons, they are really expressing a wish that God will bless them.
When men bless God, they are giving him their thanks, the only kind of gift that is within their reach.
I find that lexicons and other works of reference tend to focus on that last form of blessing, as an act of worship.
It seems to me, though, that the cycle of blessing begins with what God is doing.

The blessing of God means life.
At the beginning of Creation, God blesses the living things he has made and tells them to be fruitful and multiply. That’s what “blessing” means, fundamentally. The increase of living things.
I suppose the blessing of the human race may be extended to the full command; “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and have dominion”.

The Psalmist says that sons are like arrows in the hands of a warrior, and “blessed” is the man who has his quiver full of them (Psalm 127 v5).
So when God blesses his favourite people, that means, in the first instance, the promise of children.
Sarai was going to be blessed with the birth of Isaac, and in compensation Ishmael would be blessed and multiplied exceedingly and become a great nation (Genesis ch17).
The same blessing was requested for Jacob; “God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples” (Genesis ch28 v3).
The same blessing was claimed by the house of Joseph; “I am a numerous people, since hitherto the Lord has blessed me” (Joshua ch17 v14).

A man is blessed in a fuller sense when there is increase of life over his whole household, including his flocks and his herds and his crops.
Hence the expanded definition of “blessing” found in the promise of Deuteronomy;
“He will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock” (Deuteronomy ch7 v13).

That is where prosperity comes in, because wealth is defined in terms of the increase of living things.
Laban was able to look at his expanded flocks and say to Jacob “The Lord has blessed me because of you” (Genesis ch30 v27).
The people are instructed to keep the feast of weeks with a freewill offering “which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you” (Deuteronomy ch16 v10).
And the original blessing of Job was demonstrated by the fact that “his possessions have increased in the land”- to the extent of seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she-asses.
The blessing of God is always associated with the increase of life.

Therefore the blessing will be frustrated by conditions which hinder the growth of life and prosperity.
There will be droughts, and swarms of locusts. Enemies of the nation will plunder the products of the land, and their acts of aggression will culminate in expelling the people from the land altogether.
Some of the prophets of the Old Testament promise a final battle in which the enemies of God’s people will be overcome conclusively. I looked at this theme in The Last Battle in Old Testament prophecy
In the aftermath of this defeat, the prosperity of God’s people can be restored, and the prophets go on to describe aspects of the restoration.




posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 05:05 PM
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The restored blessing; Old Testament version

“He shall blossom as the lily, he shall strike root as the poplar, his shoots shall spread out, his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon… they shall flourish as a garden, they shall blossom like the vine” Hosea ch14 vv5-7

In the first place, of course, the exiles must return to the land, but that will be a theme for another occasion.
Once there, they must be guaranteed freedom from interference.
“I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners will not drink your wine” (Isaiah ch62 v8).
“They shall be no more a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the field devour them; they shall dwell securely and none shall make them afraid” (Ezekiel ch34 v28).
But that is the implied consequence of “the last battle”.

The blessing begins, once again, with the promise of children;
“I will multiply them and they will not be few; I will make them honoured, and they shall not be small” (Jeremiah ch30 v19).
“The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation” (Isaiah ch60 v22).
“For the children of the desolate one shall be more than the children of her that is married… For you will be spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities” (Isaiah ch54 vv1-3).

The other aspects of their prosperity will be restored at the same time;
“Behold, I am sending you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied, and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations… The pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and the vine give their full yield…
The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats will overflow with wine and oil. I shall return to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel ch2 vv19-25).
“For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, and the ground shall give its increase, and the heavens shall give their dew, and I shall cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things” (Zechariah ch8v12).
“And the trees of the earth shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in the land”( Ezekiel ch34 v27).

However, the promise goes far beyond the simple restoration of their former life.
“Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it” (Amos ch9 v13).

This picture of the generosity of God’s new blessing is backed by images of abundant water;
“I will be as the dew to Israel” (Hosea ch14 v5).
“He has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before” (Joel ch2 v23).
“And I will send down the showers in their season and they shall be showers of blessing” (Ezekiel ch34 v26).
“And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground… And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water” (Isaiah ch30 vv23-25).

The promise is presented more forcefully in the image of the unceasing fountain of water, derived directly from God himself.
“And all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the valley of Shiittim” (Joel ch3 v18).
“On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea” (Zechariah ch14 v8).
And Ezekiel (ch47) offers the picture of a stream flowing out of the Temple and turning into a mighty river, filled with fish and surrounded by fruitful trees

There is also the promise of a new gift, the outpouring of the Spirit of God; “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel ch2v28).
And we find the promise of the Spirit offered as theexplanation of the promise of water; “For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring” (Isaiah ch44 v3).
So that is what is meant by the exhortation “Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters… ” (Isaiah ch50 v1).

We ought not to separate the promise of the Spirit from the promise of life;
We are told that many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall wake, “some to everlasting life… (Daniel ch12 vv2-3).
“No longer shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old man that does not fill out his days” (Isaiah ch65 v20).
And a previous chapter of Isaiah offers the most radical promise of life that is found anywhere in the Old Testament;
“And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth” (Isaiah ch25 vv7-8).

This brings us back to the most fundamental level of blessing, namely the outpouring of the gift of Life.



posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 05:06 PM
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The restored blessing; New Testament version

We are told that we should bless our God and Father, because he “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”(Ephesians ch1 v3)

That is typical of the difference between the two Testaments. What is literal and physical in the Old Testament is found to be spiritual in the New Testament.

The Holy Spirit is the gift of God, and should be counted as a blessing.
Peter explains the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost as the fulfilment of the promise of Joel.
“It is not by measure that he gives the Spirit” (John ch3 v34). The Holy Spirit is not rationed out.
“If you, then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke ch11 v13)
Therefore Paul could tell the Corinthians that they had been enriched by the grace of God, “so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift” (1 Corinthians ch1 v7).

God’s blessing is to be found in the gospel. That is the message of the Beatitudes;
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew ch4 vv5-6).
We can follow through the whole process, in sequence.
It begins, of course, with God’s word;” Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke ch11 v28).
Through God’s word, we receive the blessing of repentance; “God sent [his servant] to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness” (Acts ch3 v26).
Paul cites the Psalms as a testimony for what happens next; ”Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven” (Romans ch4v7).
The final result is to be found in Revelation; “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth” (Revelation ch14 v13). My understanding is that “henceforth” means “from the time when Christ rose from the dead”. In other words, blessed are all those who die “in the Lord”.
Another way of putting it is “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation ch19 v9).

This has led us into the same conclusion that we reached concerning the Old Testament.
The blessing of the Old Testament is the gift of organic life.
The blessing of the New Testament is the gift of eternal Life.
With that qualification, it is true in both cases that the fundamental meaning of blessing is “life”.



posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 05:07 PM
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”Prosperity gospel”

This brings us to the question of how Christians should be understanding the promises of the Old Testament.

Paul lays down the basic principle. He explains that the Israelites were unable to read the old covenant clearly, because they would not allow themselves to see the embedded warning that the covenant would be superseded.
They could only read the text “through a veil”- that is, in a strictly literal interpretation.
Christ removes that veil, so that Christian interpretation may be guided by the Spirit; “for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians ch3 vv4-15).

How may we apply this to the promise of “blessing”?
The starting point should be the references to abundant water.
In John’s gospel, this image relates to the gift of Life;
“Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John ch4 v14).
Putting the same thing another way, the image relates to the gift of the Holy Spirit;
“Jesus stood up and proclaimed; If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as [Isaiah] says, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water’.
Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive” (John ch7 vv37-39).

This is our cue to interpret the rest of the ”water” imagery of the prophecies in the same way.
We might ask why Joel’s fountain will be watering the valley of Shiittim. The answer must be that Shiittim is the location of a notorious episode of sin and idolatry. The implication is that the fountain will overcome that tendency.
Again, we are told that Ezekiel’s mighty river has the effect of turning the seas into fresh water. Only then will they be filled with fish, which the fishermen can harvest(it is taken for granted that salt water is dead). This, too, can be understood symbolically, as the purification of the world from the pollutions of sin and evil, and the restoration of true life.
In the same way, all the prophetic promises of the abundance of organic life should be interpreted, by Christians, as promising the abundance of spiritual life.
That is the true blessing.

In some quarters of the modern church, the reading of the Old Testament has been distorted by an exaggerated preference for literal interpretation. This derives from the traditional Protestant respect for the scriptures, now modified by a revival of unconscious legalism. In effect, people have picked up and restored the old Israelite “veil” which Christ has removed, and insist on reading the text through that veil.

One of the symptoms of this development is the emergence of what is called the “prosperity gospel”, based on a literal application of God’s promises.
The teaching is that God wills to give prosperity to those who belong to him. This is true, as far as it goes, but we need to have a better perception of what “prosperity” means.
We are told that “the blessing of the Lord makes rich” (Proverbs ch10 v22). At first glance, this looks like an endorsement of the prosperity gospel. I think we should take it, though, as re-defining what is meant by “wealth”. A man should be considered wealthy when he has received the blessing of the Lord.
Thus a man is wealthy and prosperous if he has received the word of the gospel.
He is wealthy and prosperous if he has received forgiveness of sin.
He is wealthy and prosperous if he has received the Holy Spirit.
He is wealthy and prosperous if he has received eternal life.
The true prosperity which God has promised is the spiritual prosperity.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth… but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven…
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew ch6 vv19-21).



posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 05:07 PM
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+++
This new series keeps the promise made in the recent “Old and New” thread, viz-

This thread will be followed up by a short series considering what happens after the Day of the Lord, in what might be called “the state of lasting peace”.
[The series title has been changed, to express more clearly the contrast with our present condition]
The overall story can be summed up in this way;
There is a final and conclusive defeat of the enemies of God.
Once the battle is over, the exiles come home.
They are safe in their own land.
Their God rules over them, and their Temple is restored.
They are re-united with their brethren, and even reconciled with their former enemies.
They are holy to God.
And they will have the full blessings of life.

I’ll be taking different aspects of the story in turn. In each case taking the message of the prophets in the Old Testament, and then considering how the New Testament is reinterpreting the message in the light of Christ.
Thus, like the wise householder, making the best use of the old and of the new.

The series began with Holiness





edit on 2-8-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 06:59 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Thank you for sharing this today.



posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 08:10 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
“Blessing” is the act of doing good by speaking [EU-LOGIA].

When God blesses men, his word contains a gift.
When men bless each other, as Jacob blessed his sons, they are really expressing a wish that God will bless them.
When men bless God, they are giving him their thanks, the only kind of gift that is within their reach.
I find that lexicons and other works of reference tend to focus on that last form of blessing, as an act of worship.
It seems to me, though, that the cycle of blessing begins with what God is doing.

The blessing of God means life.



“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18)

Worshiping authority is more important that blessings. Bend your knees and obey is the most important message in the Bible. Kneel!!!



FEAR the Lord



posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 10:07 PM
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I like

We use our voice to redeem the day, too......we gotta squawk....huh

God's voice created and redeemed.....Scripture tells it best.....the jist of it is make a sound.....



posted on Aug, 2 2019 @ 10:13 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015

originally posted by: DISRAELI
“Blessing” is the act of doing good by speaking [EU-LOGIA].

When God blesses men, his word contains a gift.
When men bless each other, as Jacob blessed his sons, they are really expressing a wish that God will bless them.
When men bless God, they are giving him their thanks, the only kind of gift that is within their reach.
I find that lexicons and other works of reference tend to focus on that last form of blessing, as an act of worship.
It seems to me, though, that the cycle of blessing begins with what God is doing.

The blessing of God means life.



“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18)

Worshiping authority is more important that blessings. Bend your knees and obey is the most important message in the Bible. Kneel!!!



FEAR the Lord



he he, I was saying the catholics and greek translators for king james.....1611AD......were forced to split the middle of dogma make each other reach a middle ground........idk, but yeah....the hard sayings....like that one to slaves.....master nice or mean one.....I wondet



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