Friday, January 11, 2013

Blessing of the Lord

 5Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.
 6Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:
 7Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.
 8Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you: we bless you in the name of the LORD.
(Psalm 129:5-9, King James Version)

Blessing of the Lord

It had been a bittersweet relationship that the people of God had had with God. By the time Psalm 129 was written, the Israelites had tasted God's loving hand upon them as well as God's great hand of discipline. They savored the blessing of the Lord when they faithfully served Him, and they tasted the bitterness of His wrath when they turned against them.

In all of this, they found that they were despised by those who served other gods, often being sadly mistreated. As we, in the 21st century look upon those of Jewish descent, we see a continuation of that bittersweet relationship. Scattered throughout the entire world, the Jewish people have been abused and maligned. Only in the last century have they again been able to call Jerusalem and the land around it their home.

Though they now have a nation to call their own, they are still a mixed people. They share the land with those who are not of Jewish descent, and those who can claim to be Jews are a mixed multitude of those who hold to the Jewish faith, those believers who call themselves Messianic Jews, and those who have no faith at all, but still claim their Jewish heritage.

As he looks forward through the centuries, to which of these three groups is the Psalmist speaking? Who are those who hate Zion? We would understand that those who love Zion are those who claim to be Messianic Jews. They understand that the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth as the God Man, to save a people for Himself. Those who observe the traditional Jewish faith are in the same category as those of Jesus' day who heard His message but did not accept it, so have actually rejected the God of Zion as well. Those who profess to have no faith may love their heritage, but they do not love the God of Zion.

What of us who do not share a Jewish heritage? Where do we fit in the Psalmist's laments? Those who love the Lord Jesus Christ, though not of actual Jewish descent, are, like the early Gentile believers, part of the "Israel of God." Grafted in, by the grace of God, they share as adopted children the same heritage as Jewish Messianic believers.

What an amazing God we serve. Who has ever known of a God who creates a people, sees those people rebel against Him, and yet provides a way of salvation for that same people, but at the cost of the death of His own Son? He does not thrust this salvation upon them, but offers it freely due to His own love and grace.

As people of God, we understand the laments of the Psalmist. We, too, are wearied by the lack of faith manifested in the people around us. We, too, are frustrated by their hatred of Zion, as well as their hatred of all of God's true children. We, too, are grieved when we hear of the thousands of believers who are being persecuted and even slaughtered for their faith in this 21st century. Yet, because we know "the rest of the story," we know that, unless those same haters of God come to faith in God, their end has already been set in stone.

Let us remember that there are only two classes of people. No matter how lovely people may appear, unless they love and have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior, they are enemies of God. They are part of those of whom the Psalmist declared, "Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we bless you in the name of the Lord."

The fields are, indeed, white unto harvest. 37Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38, King James Version)

This is our calling! This is why God has saved us and left us here! May we, by God's grace, be those laborers who bring in God's harvest.

God Bless You,
Linda

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