Alignment with God’s Promises Brings God’s Blessings
God has promised us so many blessings in His word. Many of these are conditional – that is, they require something of us in order for God’s full blessing to be released. Some of the most familiar are the “be-attitudes”: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:7-9)
There are three promises I’ve decided to make a pursuit of mine in recent years — promises of blessings that require my action. These are probably some of the most explicit promises of blessing in the Bible, yet possibly some of the most overlooked. I began pursuing these three within a few months of each other. Not too long afterward I felt showered in unexpected blessings.
1. In Psalm 122:1-5 David is rejoicing over Jerusalem, then in verse 6, the tone changes from talking about Jerusalem to talking to the reader. He inserts a condition and a promise of blessing for anyone who will follow the condition:
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you.’” (Psalm 122:6)
This verse is out of place in the chapter, which is what makes it so explicit. It’s meant as a neon light to all who pass by, “If you love and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, you will prosper!” Those who study prophecy know that when there is peace in Jerusalem, there will be peace in the world; that will be the time of Yeshua’s second return and the millennial age. The word “peace” in this verse is translated from the Hebrew word “shalom,” which also means complete. We are to pray for God’s purposes for Jerusalem to be brought to completion, which will be the starting point for all nations to be brought under Yeshua’s rule and reign on earth. Then there will be complete peace.
2. Genesis 12:3 is a promise of blessing to Abraham from God. Amidst the blessings He freely gives to Abraham, He promises a blessing for all others who want to participate:
“I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse.” (Genesis 12:3)
This blessing is then passed on by God to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and to Isaac’s son, Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes of Israel and the Jewish people:
“Cursed be those who curse you and blessed be those who bless you.” (Genesis 27:29b)
This promised blessing stands for us today, when we bless the Jewish people, we will be blessed; and if we curse them, we will be cursed.
3. The third blessing comes through Isaiah. God reiterates the blessings for being righteous. He names just a handful of acts of righteousness — among them is keeping the Sabbath. Interestingly, He includes specific blessings for those of us who are “foreigners,” not Hebrew/Jewish, but still keep these conditions:
“Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say, ‘The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.’ … And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD, to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant — these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:2-3, 6-7)
Most people are familiar with the first four conditions (binding, serving, loving and worshipping), but overlook “keeping the Sabbath” and “holding fast to my covenant.” Throughout the Bible the Sabbath is defined as the seventh day, Saturday. It wasn’t until the fourth century that Constantine, the Roman emperor designated Sunday as the proper day. But the Bible didn’t change, the promises are contingent on the Sabbath, the seventh day. Keeping the Sabbath and the rest of the covenant results in blessings of joy in His presence and His acceptance of our living sacrifice as worship to Him.
Praying for the peace of Jerusalem, blessing the Jewish people, observing the Sabbath — I began pursuing these three within a few months of each other. Not too long afterward I felt showered in unexpected blessings — in my finances, in my job, in my husband’s business, in my spiritual learning, and other areas. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it certainly caught me off guard. I hadn’t seen the theme of blessing in these three things before. I had committed to them out of a deeper understanding of obedience and worship, not to be blessed by them.
The truth is, these aren’t easy things to sustain when “performed” out of selfish ambition. Somehow it’s the perfect set up: only those who truly dig in and take seriously some of the promises of the Old Testament will commit to doing these things. And if they feel that strongly, they aren’t in it for the blessing, which is when true blessings and “fruit” are released. I learned that the more I align with God’s plan for my life, the more I’m in the path of the gifts He has for me.