“Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field.”
Deuteronomy 28: 3
“A (woman) may go into the field and say (her) prayer and be aware of God, or (she) may be in church and be aware of God; (she) knows God rightly who knows Him everywhere.”
Do I look for and find God’s presence everyday and everywhere in my life?
“God walks among the pots and pipkins.”
Teresa of Avila
“Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.”
Psalm 139: 7-10
King James Version
This past year, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Olympic Games. One thing I noticed, which seems to be very consistent, is that when an athlete wins, they nearly always thank or hug their coach! In many cases, athletes spend years with their coaches – more time than with their own families. Because of the guidance of the right trainer who watches and instructs their “student,” these athletes improve until some perform unbelievable feats of physical endurance.
Interestingly enough, our study about God’s blessings are much like being under the guiding hand and personal attention of an experienced trainer. Except in the case of you and me, we are surrounded by the everlasting and ever-present watchfulness of our Father, the King of the Universe.
The Psalmist, David, descriptively paints a picture of God’s hand in our lives when in Psalm 139 he says that no matter where you and I go, God is there. David goes so far as to say that even if I choose to “make my bed in hell,” God is with me. In the United States we have a saying, “You make your bed, you lie in it.” In other words, if I choose to get myself into trouble, I better realize I’ll have to get myself out of the puddle! But God says to you and me, when we go to the pit, even when we’ve made our lives into hell by our mistakes, He goes with us.
“Why,” I ask, “does God bless me when I go into the pit of damnation because of my own willful disobedience?”
To answer this question, we need to look at the Hebrew word for “blessed” in Deuteronomy. And believe me, this was a shocker! I had the mistaken idea that “blessed” meant some form of prosperity that would be dumped in my lap if I only did what God told me to do. If we look at the Hebrew word “barak” or “bawrak” which means blessed, this usage means “to kneel,” or by implication, “to bless God as an act of adoration.”
When I studied this I had to say, “Hold on a minute!” I thought by obeying or “listening” as we learned several months ago, the word obey meant God would shower me with favor. This sounds like just the opposite. But how much richer and more beautiful the idea is when I begin to recognize that as I listen to God, wherever I go and whatever I am doing, I will bring adoration to my Father. If we look at the dictionary definition of the word “adore,” it means to “worship as divine or to set in a position of distinction.”
So let’s go back to our text for today in Deuteronomy 28: 3. “Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field.” God is saying, “When you listen to my commands, when you intelligently revere what I say, your reaction naturally will be to adore Me and God will be in the distinct place of supremacy in your life.” Furthermore, it won’t matter if we are in church, at work, at home, or in the field – our entire lives will be infused with blessed adoration for our Father. He will be first in our lives, everywhere we go.
Why does this matter? As we will learn, if God’s presence is most important to us, the other things we do in our lives are placed in their proper perspective.
“Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field.” In the words of Rabindranath Tagore at a Christian Conference in Asia, “God is there where the farmer is tilling the ground and where the labourer is breaking stones. He is with them in the sun and the rain and His garment is covered with soil.”
When you and I recognize the eternal presence of our Father, like the Christian poet, Christina Rossetti we will say, “Open wide the windows of (my) spirit and fill (me) full of light; open wide the door of (my) heart, that I may receive and entertain Thee with all my power of adoration.”
“Adoration is a rejoicing in what we believe God is in Himself, in the more that He must be that we cannot understand; it is a reaching out to this in love and longing.”
“God Is Here With Us”
“God of creation, shaper of seas and stars
of planets and of people
GOD IS HERE WITH US
God, breath of the universe
flickering, dancing in the candle flame
GOD IS HERE WITH US
God, Immanuel, amongst us, within us
WE BRING OURSELVES AND OUR DREAMS
FOR WE WANT TO BE HERE WITH YOU
Mysterious God, confounding our expectations
meeting us where we least expect to find you
STAY WITH US NOW
Source of life
birth of God within our own experience
STAY WITH US NOW
Stay with us in our frailty
stay with us on our journey
WALK BESIDE US, LIVE WITHIN US
LEAD US TO GLORY, LEAD US HOME”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Available May 2009