Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. — Nehemiah 8:8

May 14, 2006

Volume 5 Number 10

Receiving God’s Blessings

Who is there among us that does not want to hear a good word from God? We love and welcome His blessings. One appealing Scripture of hope is offered by Yahweh through the prophet Jeremiah:

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. -Jeremiah 29

In our desire to find a good word from God that gives us the promise of His blessings, it is tempting for us to take good news Scriptures out of context. In our zeal for a good word from God, we can easily miss the point of His message. Unless we read the Scripture in its proper context, we may yield to the temptation to use it as a promise that all will go well with us and that we will not have to endure any hardships in our lives.

Let’s read the Scripture again, in the context by which it was given:

10 For thus says Yahweh, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. -Jeremiah 29

Yahweh said that after Judah had endured seventy years of Babylonian captivity, then he would visit them and perform His "good word" toward them.

Contrary to what many may want to believe, Judah was not yet ready to receive Yahweh’s blessings. They had not yet repented. Therefore, they were spiritually sick and needed healing from an "incurable" bruise and a "grievous" wound:

12 For thus says Yahweh, Your bruise is incurable, and your wound is grievous.

13 There is none to plead your cause, that you may be bound up: you have no healing medicines. -Jeremiah 30

Even the balm and physicians of Gilead could not heal the great affliction of Judah:

22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? -Jeremiah 8

Although Judah was worshipping other gods, which were called their "lovers," even those gods had forgotten them. Instead of blessing Judah, Yahweh placed an incurable wound upon them because of unrepentant sin. They not only continued in their sins, but even increased them:

14 All your lovers have forgotten you; they seek you not; for I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of your iniquity; because your sins were increased. -Jeremiah 30

Even though they cried in their affliction, their sorrowful wound could not be cured as long as they continued in their multitude of sins:

15 Why cry you for your affliction? your sorrow is incurable for the multitude of your iniquity: because your sins were increased, I have done these things to you. -Jeremiah 30

They wanted Yahweh to hear their cries, but the wound that separated them from Him and His blessings could not be healed.

When Yahweh made a covenant with Israel, He said that He was their God:

6 I am Yahweh your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. -Exodus 20

He also promised them merciful blessings on the condition that they love Him and that they keep His commandments. As Judah worshipped other gods in the form of images, they disobeyed Him:

7 You shall have no other gods before me.

8 You shall not make you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

9 You shall not bow down yourself unto them, nor serve them: for I Yahweh your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

10 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. -Exodus 20

The Scripture says that the merciful blessings of Yahweh are conditional and require that we love Him and keep His commandments.

Most of us, however, prefer to have His blessings without condition. We want the God of "love and peace," of which Paul wrote to the Corinthians:

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. -2 Corinthians 13

However, few of us want the godly sorrow of which Paul also wrote to the Corinthians. He told them that sorrow would lead them to saving repentance:’

8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle has made you sorry, though it were but for a season.

9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for you were made sorry after a godly manner, that you might receive damage by us in nothing.

10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death. -2 Corinthians 7

While we welcome God’s blessings, we want them without the godly sorrow that leads us to repentance.

It was Yahweh’s will to save Judah, however, they first needed measured correction:

11 For I am with you, says Yahweh, to save you: though I make a full end of all nations wherein I have scattered you, yet will I not make a full end of you: but I will correct you in measure, and will not leave you altogether unpunished. -Jeremiah 30

That correction for Judah required seventy years of sorrowful Babylonian captivity, which would lead them to repentance. Then they would earnestly pray:

12 Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

13 And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29

Yahweh would then listen to their prayers and give them the blessings that He had promised them.

God truly is good... to those of a clean heart:

1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. -Psalms 73

All things really do work together for good... to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. -Romans 8

As Jeremiah looked around himself, he asked Yahweh the question that we also often ask. Why do the wicked seem to prosper?

1 Righteous are you, O Yahweh, when I plead with you: yet let me talk with you of your judgments: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? why are all they happy that deal very treacherously? -Jeremiah 12

We, like the psalmist, may even envy the apparent prosperity of the wicked:

2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well near slipped.

3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. -Psalms 73

We may even get discouraged as we think:

12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

13 Truly I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.

14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. -Psalms 73

While the ungodly may look prosperous to us, they are really standing on slippery places that lead to destruction:

18 Surely you did set them in slippery places: you cast them down into destruction. -Psalms 73

Yahweh tells us the way to true prosperity and success:

8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success. -Joshua 1

True prosperity and success comes through knowing and obeying His word. Therefore, if we are outside of His will, true blessings follow the godly sorrow that leads us to repentance unto salvation. When we are weeping in sorrow, we need to remember:

5 For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. -Psalms 30


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Scriptures are taken from the Proper King James Version (PKJV)


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