Goodness and Mercy

Goodness and Mercy
©Brenda Mangalore/Sashé Studio

“A man of faith does not live in anticipation of evil”… Dr. Okey Onuzo

When we pray (especially at meetings or gatherings or maybe even personally), we would usually conclude by saying the Grace and the last verse of Psalm 23.

It opens with, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…”

Been thinking upon this for some time now.

It is amazing how people say this so much and yet have a fear of evil/or bad things befalling them.

It says “Surely…” Surely speaks of certainty. It leaves no room for contest.

Our disposition to daily life should be rooted in this confession.

Expecting everyday that good things will happen to us.

Expecting goodness always, and mercy where we do not measure up

It is way way better to expect good to happen than live perpetually in fear of evil.

So, here is my own paraphrase of this wonderful verse of scripture:

“Surely, goodness (good things, people, news, circumstances, favours, tidings, opportunities, blessings and God’s inexhaustible supply) and mercy (covered by the blood of Jesus that speaks better things on my behalf) shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD (sheltered, fed and nourished, clothed, shielded and protected, rested, with absolute peace of mind) forever.” Praise God!

Feel free to add to the list.

God bless.

Triggers of a Generational Blessing (Part II)

Welcome to the concluding part of the series Triggers of a Generational Blessing. My prayer is that as you read, the Spirit of God will breathe upon your heart and guide your feet towards triggering a general blessing for your lineage. Be blessed as you read.

“… For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” – Apostle Peter

Triggers

The scriptures tell us that the things that were written were written for our learning, that through them, hope would be instilled in us (Rom. 15 vs. 4), and that they also happened as examples especially for us who live in these present times (1 Cor. 10 vs. 11).

So then, what do we learn from the stories in the previous post?

  • Obedience to God

From Abraham’s encounter we see how his obedience to God triggered a blessing that was well beyond anything he could have imagined in his heart and mind. God blessed Abraham for his obedience in spite of the extremely difficult (in natural terms) instructions he had been given. When the Lord God saw that Abraham was ready to obey to the letter without any hesitation, He quickly called to him to stop, and then swore by Himself to bless Abraham.

It is pertinent to point out, that this was not some random event or occurrence of obedience. Reading Abraham’s story, his obedience to instructions by God is chronicled through each page of his life; the sacrifice of Isaac was like the tipping point which brought with it the blessing.

  • Obedience to Parental Authority

The Rechabites were blessed with perpetuity in their lineage because they honoured the word of their father Jonadab more than that of Jeremiah, who was acting on instructions from God. In today’s world, that would probably create a conundrum for the average Christian. God knew that their father had issued them a number of instructions, one of which was that they were not to drink wine. Yet, He commanded Jeremiah to take them into the house of God and give them wine to drink. This was a test of their obedience, not to God, but to the instruction of their father. It was also supposed to serve as a lesson in obedience to the rather rebellious house of Israel. The Rechabites honored the word of their father and till today as sure as God’s Word stands, the descendants of Jonadab are still on the face of the earth.

  • Initiative

King David did not receive any instruction from God to build Him a house. He also made no sacrifice or pass through a test of obedience in his case. In actual fact, the price of David’s blessing was the price of an idea or even more accurately, the price of a perceived need. David felt it was wrong for him to dwell in a house of cedar while the Ark of God remained in a tent. His immediate resolve to do something about the situation caught God’s attention in a wonderful way. David unwittingly connected to something that was in the plan of God for all of humanity. God’s plan was for the Messiah to be a legitimate heir to the throne of Israel. David’s initiative and God’s blessing for it set him up to be the father of a dynasty of kings from which the King of kings would eventually physically descend.

Exhortation

The work that was done at Calvary was complete. The Lord Jesus said “It is finished” and indeed it is. The Bible clearly tells us that we are new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5 vs. 17), ALL THINGS are become new. He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that were against us and that were contrary to us; He took them out of the way, nailing EVERYTHING to His cross (Col. 2 vs. 14). Rom. 6 vs. 4 tells us that in the same manner Christ was raised from the dead, we should walk in newness of life.

Take a step back for a moment and study the lineage of Abraham, David, and the Rechabites. God asked Abraham to leave his country, kindred, and father’s house to go to a place He would show him. Abraham’s ancestors were most likely involved in idol worship. His ancestry did not have any effect on his obedience to God and did not count one bit when God pronounced the blessing. Abraham had developed a lifestyle of continued obedience to God (e.g. leave your father’s household; circumcise all the males in your household; send Ishmael away; sacrifice Isaac etc.). In Isaiah 1 vs. 19, the bible says that if we were willing and obedient, we would eat the fruit of the land, as Abraham proved. This kind of blessing could care less if one’s ancestral antecedents were rooted in all kinds of maleficence.

For King David, it is worthy of note that his ancestral lineage included Rahab the harlot, who was his great great grandmother. Now, that did not stop God from anointing him king or from blessing him with an eternal dynasty of kings.

Based on the principle of First Mention, it is likely that the Rechab mentioned in 2 Samuel 4 was the ancestor of the Rechabites. You would see from that scripture that he was not a good man. He was a murdering opportunist who in a bid to curry favor from King David, along with his brother Baanah, slew King Ish-bosheth while he was in bed having a siesta. Somewhere along his lineage, Jonadab came along (2 Kings 10 vs. 15 & 23). Jonadab was allied with King Jehu in ridding Israel of the idolatrous mess Ahab had created. You would think that the evil deeds of their father would prompt them to change their name and probably be known as the Jonadabites (because of his good deeds) instead of the Rechabites. They kept the name but heeded the righteous instruction of Jonadab, and God blessed them for it. Also note that Jonadab became the reference point for this blessing, as it applied to his own lineage.

Salvation through the precious blood of Jesus Christ wipes the slate clean for any person who comes to gives his or her life over to Him. It takes care of whatever the past may have been. It provides the opportunity for a future that is beyond comprehension; as the scripture puts it, ‘Christ in us, the hope of glory’ (Col. 1 vs. 25 – 27). It puts us under the lineage of Abraham and makes us heirs according to the promise. It gives us opportunities to trigger our own heritage of blessings that would span generations yet unborn rather than struggle under burdens or curses we had no part in. Moreover, Christ has been made every curse in the whole wide world for us (Gal. 3 vs. 13 – 14). This knowledge, this truth, gives us power and the freedom we need to embrace the blessings.

In conclusion, triggering generational blessings is not restricted to the Old Testament Bible characters alone. The things were written for us to learn from them and to know what we can accomplish as well as the things we cannot. We live in a much greater dispensation than they did, and we are thus empowered to do so much more than they ever did. I strongly believe that through a lifestyle of continued obedience to God and to parental authority (physical and spiritual); through taking spiritual initiatives aimed at pleasing God and being led by the Spirit of God (an unparalleled advantage), we have opportunity to trigger blessings that would run through our entire generations for years and years to come.

Remain Blessed…

Triggers of a Generational Blessing (Part 1)

Welcome to the first of a 2-part series on Triggers of a Generational Blessing. Enjoy your reading.

One generation plants the trees, and another gets the shade ~ Chinese Proverb

Introduction

In today’s Church world, it is quite common to see a handbill, a poster, a billboard, or some form of advertisement that offers an invitation and an opportunity to the reader to have any generational curses over their lives broken. Whatever the title, the message is rather very clear. The premise is that a whole lot of believers are struggling under generational curses that need to be broken in order for them to find the relief, comfort, and prosperity they so eagerly and strongly desire. The target audiences are those believers who have struggled for years with issues like financial prosperity, finding a marriage partner, conception, marital problems, etc., and who have seemingly done everything they know to do and have still made no headway. The spiritual diagnosis then suddenly becomes that they are most likely under generational curses which need to be broken. These curses are due to some of the evil activities and deeds of the ancestors, a classic case of “… The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge…” (Jer. 31 vs. 29).

Interestingly, you do not hear too much (if you hear at all) in the church about generational blessings. During one of my personal studies and reflection, the Spirit of God prompted this issue in my heart. The bible clearly tells us about both generational blessings and curses cf. Deut. 28 vs. 4 & 18. Both arise from the deeds of our forebears. However, the undue emphasis on the curses, especially after the awesome work that was done on the cross of Calvary on our behalf, is rather disheartening to see and hear.

Generational Blessings

A generational blessing is a blessing that originates from a progenitor and runs throughout the lifetime of his entire lineage. Let’s look at 3 examples in the Bible.

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Abraham

God blessed Abraham with such an amazing blessing – a blessing spanning both his physical generation and a spiritual generation – which is in full effect even to this day.

15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son– 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Gen. 22 vs. 16 – 18 (NKJV)

The latter part of verse 18 tells us that Abraham’s obedience to God’s voice was the reason for the blessing. The writer of Hebrews (Heb. 6 vs. 13 – 18) emphasizes the seriousness and profound nature of God’s promise to Abraham. God swore an oath by Himself (there isn’t anyone greater) that He would fulfill His promise to Abraham. Abraham’s continued obedience to God brought such a blessing that even those of us who are not direct physical descendants, have become partakers of the blessing through Jesus Christ (Gal. 3 vs. 29). Praise God!

King David

Chapter 17 of 1 Chronicles tells the story of God’s covenant with King David. The king had moved into his new palace and then came to the realization that while he dwelt in such opulence and magnificence as befitted a king of his stature, the Ark of the Lord was dwelling in a tent. He spoke to Nathan the prophet about this and Nathan told him to do all that was in his heart. That same night, the Lord spoke to the prophet and gave him a message for the king. God essentially said that right from the time He brought Israel out of Egypt, the Ark of His presence had always dwelt in a tent or in a tabernacle, and that He had NEVER (emphasis mine) asked any of the rulers of Israel why they had not thought about building Him a house of cedar. He then goes ahead to chronicle David’s history and ends with the promise of an eternal dynasty of kings; of a Son who would build a house for God and whose throne would be established forever (vs. 7 – 14).

Reading this story, I get the impression that God was so thrilled and moved with David’s intention that He could not help but bless him. Even though God had said that David would not be the one to build the temple (1 Chron. 22 vs. 6 – 10), His promise of a Son who would build a house for the name of God is what we see fulfilled today in Jesus Christ.

The Rechabites

The Rechabites were a relatively unknown family whose story is tucked away somewhere in the middle of the book of Jeremiah (chapter 35). God sent Jeremiah to test the Rechabites – to prove their adherence to the command of their progenitor Jonadab (the son of Rechab) not to drink wine. This test was to serve as a general example of obedience to the house of Israel. Interestingly, the setting for this test was in the house of God, in a chamber with pots full of wine. Despite what I call the ‘spiritual pressure’ from Jeremiah, the people gently turned down the offer. Jonadab’s commandment to them not to drink wine was esteemed greater than the offer by the Man of God. God set them as an example of obedience before the children of Israel and then in turn blessed the Rechabites with the blessing of a perpetual generation for the honour they accorded the word of their father Jonadab.

TO BE CONTINUED…

God bless