"And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command thee this day… all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God."
Deuteronomy 28: 1, 2
King James Version
"There Will Be Showers of Blessings"
"God is more anxious to bestow His blessings on us than we are to receive them."
What blessing do I long for in my life?
Am I paying attention and "hearkening" unto God in my life?"
"Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses, and disappointments, but let us have patience, and we soon shall see them in their proper figures."
"Blessings we enjoy daily, and for most of them, because they be so common, (we) forget to pay their praises. But let not us, because it is a sacrifice so pleasing to Him who still protects us, and gives us flowers, and showers, and meat and content."
Yesterday, we ended our study with the beautiful promise found in Deuteronomy 4: 20, "But the Lord has taken you and brought you forth out of the iron furnace." Over the last few days, I have received prayer requests from so many who feel as though they are going through the "furnace of affliction," right now. When we are in the midst of some terrible trial, be it drug addiction, marital infidelity, rebellion of a child or a severe health or financial crisis – the question asked most often is, "Where is God in all this mess?" As some of you have shared with me, "I've asked God to help me and He doesn't seem to hear me at all! I've waited and waited and there's still no answer."
I believe all of us have cried out to God, "Why am I in such trouble?" If you have found yourself with this question on your lips, you may also be wondering, "What am I doing to cause this?" Throughout the entire Bible, we find examples where it looked as though blessings were given because of God's favor and curses delivered to those who crossed God's will. What's more, when you go to a book like Deuteronomy and find several chapters dedicated to the topic of "blessings and curses," it's easy to think that if I obey God, things should work out the way I want them to.
In the book of Deuteronomy, from chapters 5- 27, we find Moses reminding the children of Israel of all God's commands and His laws. These chapters are a summary of what God shared with His children in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers – all books we have studied.
Then in Deuteronomy 28, it is as though Moses takes a breath and says: "After reviewing with you all that God has taught you during the past 41 years, I have some fantastic news for you. If you'll hearken unto the voice of God, blessings will come upon you and overtake you." WOW! What a promise!
So for the next few days we are going to take a look at the blessings which overtake us when we hearken unto God. To help us understand more clearly this ultimate promise, I want to look at two words in the passage – "hearken" and "overtake." In the Hebrew, to "hearken" means "to hear intelligently." It means we pay attention and carefully consider. It means we have discernment because we "give regard" to what God says. I just love the radiant light the Hebrew shines on the meaning of the word "hearken." This isn't God treating us as children and saying, "You had better listen to me or else!" Instead, it is our wise and loving Father, embracing us in His arms of love and saying, "I recognize and value you. I am giving you information which as you discern it, will make you wise enough to choose to obey what is best for you."
We need also to look at what we are promised when we "hearken" unto the voice of God. Deuteronomy 28: 2 says, "All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God." In the King James Version of the Bible, the word used is "overtake," which in the Hebrew means to "reach out and take hold." Let's get this picture straight. When we're walking in God's pathway of obedience, His' blessings "reach out and grab us and accompany us on our journey here on earth." Isn't that a beautiful mental image! For as I walk with Jesus, I'm promised that His blessings will surround me.
So often though, the reason we get discouraged and dismayed regarding God's blessings is that even in religious circles today, some people translate God's blessings into a Ferrari in the driveway or a house in Beverly Hills.
That's why we're going to look at what it means, as daughters and sons of God, to be blessed. And it is my prayer that over the next few days, we'll have a much clearer understanding of how obedience – listening closely and discerning God's will for us – leads us to a life accompanied by the blessings of God.
"The more we count the blessings we have, the less we crave the luxuries we haven't."
William A. Ward
"May the Lord bless you with all good and keep you from all evil; may He give light to your heart with loving wisdom, and be gracious to you with eternal knowledge; may He lift up His loving countenance upon you with eternal peace."
From the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Available May 2009