As I read a part of our daily portion of Scripture this morning (Psalm 41:1-3), I thought about the blessing that is promised to so many of us who have willingly given to the needy and poor. The translation we are reading is the NLT and the word “joys” is the same word I taught on Sunday (Feb. 21), “asre”, or the tangible blessings that comes because of a person’s action. It has to do with the rewards that are dependent on how a person conducts his or her life or because he or she “walks” in a way pleasing to the Lord. It is the “blessed” that we find in Psalm 1:1, because a man chooses to NOT hang out with sinners or NOT take counsel with the ungodly or NOT team up with those who scorn the ways of God. The reward is that “whatever he puts his hands to prospers, in every season”! It is the tangible manifestation of the Blessing (Barak) of God that He spoke over man at creation. (Gen 1:28)
So, in reading Psalm 41:1-3, we see another powerful truth of how to “activate” the blessings of God in our life.
Psalm 41:1–3 (NLT) — 1 Oh, the joys (asre) of those who are kind to the poor! The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble. 2 The LORD protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. 3 The LORD nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.
These are the incredible promised blessings (asre) that come to those who help the poor:
- The LORD protects them and keeps them alive;
- He gives them prosperity in the land;
- HE rescues them from their enemies;
- The LORD nurses them when they are sick and;
He restores them to health.
As I read these blessings, it is clearly the “Shalom” of God that is operating in our lives because we have chosen to walk in a way that is pleasing to the heart of God.
According to the TWOT, there are only two words used for blessing in the Hebrew bible: barak and asre.
The blessing (barak) spoken over man in Genesis 1:28 is the potential that God has placed inside of us to be successful, prosperous, healthy, happy and victorious. The TWOT tell us what the Gen. 1:28 “blessing” of God means. It says, “To bless in the OT means “to endue with power for success, prosperity, fecundity, longevity, etc. TWOT 285” It is the blessing that God initiated on His own and also the blessing that is resident in all of mankind. It is the will of God for His creation. It is an inherent quality that God has placed inside each of us. It is God’s “seed of greatness” implanted into the lives of mankind that gives us the potential to become the “masterpiece” (Eph. 2:10) that God created.
The blessing (asre) is the activation of God’s blessing (barak) because man has chosen to walk in a way of obedience to God. It is the state of being of one who has chosen the path of obedience and love for God. It is a state of “enviable desire” and brings great joy to our lives. It is the unveiled “barak” that God planted inside each of us because we have walked according to His will. It is God working with us to bring all things together for His purposes (Romans 8:28). It is the Deut. 6:3 promise that all will go well with us because we have chosen to diligently obey God’s Word.
What a wonderful God we have Who loves us so much that from the beginning, He set us up for success, health, wholeness, prosperity. He has given to us the potential to be all that He has placed within us, i.e., every desire and dream that God has placed within our hearts can be ours because we are “blessed”. It is His divine favor that follows our obedience. What great blessings come to those who love and obey God.