Genesis 2:1-3 – A Blessed and Holy Day, Part 2
Remember the Laura Story song, “Blessings?” In it she says: “What if your blessings come through rain drops? What if trials of this life - the rain, the storms, the hardest nights - are your mercies in disguise?” This revolutionary idea of blessing is also firmly established in scripture!
In the ESV version of the Bible there are 112 references with the words “bless, blessing, or blessed,” NONE OF WHICH connect blessing to material prosperity. Consider these:
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” (Lk. 11:28) “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial.” (James 1:12)
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on...Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Rev. 14:13, 19:9)
And let’s look at the blessings in the Sermon on the Mount! Blessed are: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely...!!!
COMMON GRACE is a blessing: That is free, but how often do we focus on that blessing?
William Barklay said: “Human happiness is something that is dependent on the chances and changes of life, something which life may give and which life may destroy. The Christian blessedness is completely untouchable and unassailable.”
Jesus said this happiness is the joy that no one can take from you (John 16:22). It’s an inner peace, and inner bliss, an inner happiness. Such inner joy is not produced by circumstances.
I say this because the word is used to describe God! Many times in the Bible we find the statement, “Blessed be God!” Whatever this state is, it is true of God. Whatever it means to be blessed, it is true of God and of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ message devastates worldly attitudes. You cannot fill a man’s empty soul with external things. That’s what the world tries to do. Jesus came to announce that the tree of happiness does not grow on the cursed earth. Yet many seek it there.
Solomon was the most magnificent king who ever lived. If anyone should have been happy according to the world’s standards, he should have been. His wealth was so immeasurable and vast that the O.T. says his silver was as common as rocks. He had it all! Yet, all he had to say about it was: “Vanity of vanities!” All is vanity!” That word means “emptiness!”
The N.T teaches that man’s life consists not in the abundance of things he possesses (Lk.12:15).
If you're looking for happiness in the world’s goods, you’re looking in the wrong place. How ridiculous to think we can fill the void in our souls with the junk of the world: the Dirty Well Water! Physical things do not touch the soul. You cannot fill a spiritual need with a physical substance.
Psalm 34:8 - “O taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” The call to taste is the test! We are not just to believe in the Lord’s goodness, we are to experience that goodness.
Thus, it stands to reason that the ONLY people who will experience it fully are born again believers. There can be no biblical blessedness or happiness apart from that!
So, “Blessed” simply means “Happy” in the genuine sense of INTERNAL joy. And in these verses Jesus is describing the ONLY way to happiness, true happiness.
According to the “Key Word Study Bible,” the Greek word translated blessed in these passages is “Makarioi” which means to be fully satisfied. It refers to those receiving God’s favor, regardless of the circumstances.”
What is a blessing then? I think it tells us that a true blessing is anything God gives us that makes us fully satisfied in Him. Anything that draws us closer to Jesus! Anything that helps us relinquish the temporal and hold on more tightly to the eternal. And often, that is found in our struggles and trials, the aching disappointments and the unfulfilled longings that best enable us to do that!
Pain and loss transform us. While often they tend to unravel us, they can also push us to a deeper life with God than we ever thought possible. They make us rest in God alone. Not what we can do or achieve for Him, and not what He can do or achieve for us. In pain and loss we long for Presence. We long to know that God is for us and in us. Great families, financial wealth, and good health are all wonderful gifts we can thank God for, but they are not His greatest blessings. They give us great joy, not in God, but in His gifts.
God’s greatest blessing always rests in God Himself. When we have that, we are truly blessed!
Peter told us that those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are “partakers of the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:4). We can know the same bliss, the same inner state of contentment, the same happiness deep down within us, that is known by God and the Lord Jesus Christ. What a marvelous thing!
William Barklay also said: “The world can win its joys, and the world can equally lose its joys. A change in fortune, a collapse in health, the failure of a plan, the disappointment of an ambition, even a change in the weather, can take away the fickle joy the world can give. But the Christian has the serene and untouchable joy which comes from walking forever in the company and in the presence of Jesus Christ.”
Editor's Note: Every Sunday, DrydenWire.com publishes a submitted article in a weekly series from Pastor Brian Cole. If you would have a question for Brian or would like to learn more about him, visit his website or his official Facebook page.