A Blessed People

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Psalm 68:3

If you’re like me, you probably know some Believers who really don’t know how to smile. They complain, whine, bellyache, and just make life more miserable than their circumstances deserve. They read a verse like this and scratch their heads because it’s a foreign language.

I’m not sure how we got that way or if these kinds of situations will ever change but we certainly can.

You see, we’re a blessed people. From ease of living to freedoms to jobs to shelter and food, we live in abundance. We are also very free to be glad and rejoice before God. We often forget the kinds of living conditions many in the world are faced with.

Help us, Lord to appreciate the liberties we enjoy and not to forget to praise you for them.

No Loopholes, No Corruption

May you blow them away like smokeā€”as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. Psalm 68:2

The Psalmist’s prayer will one day come true, but until then we live with enemies and the immediate consequences of their actions. In our flesh it feels good to want to repay the wicked for their wickedness. In some cases, justice on earth is served. Often, though, the guilty get a free pass. Fortunately, God doesn’t give out free passes to the guilty. Many people live as if there are little to no consequences to their actions; they are dreadfully wrong.

I speak often of that “one day.” Well, there will be a “one day” and the enemies of the Lord who have mocked Him and abused His children will pay a great price for their evil. I don’t know when or how or how much, but perfect justice will be served.

Take heart, my friends. The wickedness you see all around you and in the news will one day be dealt with. Man makes a feeble attempt at administering justice on earth. With loopholes, technicalities, and corrupt individuals, it’s difficult to see how any justice is served. As I stated in a different way earlier, thanks be to God, there are no loopholes, technicalities or corruption with God Almighty.

Scattered Enemies

May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. Psalm 68:1

This is a prayer that will be fulfilled once and for all eventually, but today the enemies of the Lord and of His people are numerous and persistent. They’re not going away while we’re still on earth, and they won’t give up when we happen to have our spiritual highs and peaks. In fact, that’s when they are likely to attack with greater ferocity because we’re more vulnerable.

Likewise, it is certainly a prayer we can pray towards the nation of Israel in these perilous times. For 67 years Israel has been formally attacked about 15 times without permanent damage. Israel’s enemies literally surround Israel but they cannot defeat the tiny nation. Clearly its enemies have been scattered, loving to hate Israel but being powerless to do anything more.

Would you pray for the “peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6)

They Still Fear Him

May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him. Psalm 67:7

It’s interesting that the writer of this Psalm would equate us being blessed with the world fearing Him for doing it.

As you look at current events around the world and Christians who hope to bless the world, there’s still a lot of violence and persecution against those who claim His name. It’s no accident that Christians are being singled out. Satan hates the deeds of Believers and will do what he can to stop it. He thinks that maiming and destroying Believers will squelch the work of God around the world. In clear irony, the Church grows. That in itself is a testament to the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of Believers.

Now there is great sadness for families and friends of those who do sacrifice their lives, but in the end the Church blossoms. Many lives have been transformed when they saw the resilience of the church in the face of persecution.

The ends of the earth really do fear Him.

Cavalier

The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. Psalm 67:6

It’s interesting to ponder the question, “what would happen if God doesn’t bless us?” We could ask it for ourselves and for our nation. The United States is currently enjoying “divine favor” in the form of blessings. (Apologies to my friends around the world but I know know the United States). The U.S. has sent missionaries and finances to all corners of the globe; built hospitals, clinics, and educational facilities; fed the hungry; helped the widows and orphans; aided in hundreds of natural disasters around the world; and many other good works.

I would be dishonest, however, if I didn’t include a short list of dishonorable cultural and societal deeds that the U.S. has continued to embrace: in-your-face homosexuality, abortion, needless wars (not all wars are needless), political corruption, casual “hooking up”, and any number of other behaviors that are inconsistent with a nation that has been clearly blessed by God Almighty.

As the country continues to enjoy the freedom and privileges of a blessed nation, let us not forget that it is God Himself who builds up a nation and God who tears it down (Jeremiah 31:28).

As I stated earlier this week, we are blessed so that we can bless others. It’s very easy to forget when all you’ve ever known is freedom and blessing.