Have you ever wondered why God has not blessed you? Or maybe you have wondered why He has!
There is probably not a person on the face of the earth who does not wish to be blessed by God. I even include in that number those individuals who do not even acknowledge Him as God.
They still want His good hand of blessing to be a part of their lives!
I am reminded of the incident experienced by Dr. E. Schuyler English, one of the leading Bible scholars of the 20th century. Dr. English tells of receiving a phone call where the individual on the other end of the conversation greeted him and identified herself as being from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
She then went on to say, “The hand of God is here!” Dr. English was taken aback by that blatant comment, but then remembered that he had visited the museum a few weeks prior to the call, and had inquired about purchasing a miniature replica of Rodin’s sculpture entitled “The Hand of God.”
The caller was simply reminding him that his order had arrived and was available for him to pick up at his earliest convenience!
I don’t know about you, but if I had received a phone call like that I would have jumped for joy! I would do anything to have in my possession the hand of God!
When I read the account of Noah in the Old Testament (Genesis, chapters 6 through 9), I am struck by the fact that in the person of Noah I find a man of whom it is said, “God blessed Noah.”
That commentary on Noah’s relationship with God causes me to ask the simple question, “Why? Why Noah? Why Noah and not someone today?”
I am convinced that studying the life of Noah, we can come upon some major principles that demonstrate what is involved in being blessed by God.
In Hebrews 11:7, we are told that Noah was a man of faith. He was warned by God about things not seen.
God told him it was going to rain. Now Noah had never before seen or heard of anything about rain. He had no idea what it was, but he took God at His word and believed Him.
And believing Him meant that Noah obeyed Him. He did what God told him to do.
If you and I want to be men and women whom God blesses, we must be people of faith, taking God at His Word, believing what He has told us in his Word, and obeying what He tells us to do. When He says, “Don’t lie,” or “Don’t steal,” or “Don’t commit adultery,” we need to take Him seriously.
When He says, “Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself,” we need to really go out of our way to demonstrate biblical love towards those around us.
Well, we could go on and on with that couldn’t we? We must be people of faith.
There is another principle from the life of Noah that is a testimony to a life that God wants to bless.
Have you ever thought about how much time elapsed between the time God first told Noah to build the ark, and the day it started to rain. For those of you who are not Bible scholars, it was 120 years!
For 120 years, Noah worked on that ark – gathering the wood, making the various cages and pieces that would be used to segment the interior rooms and floors, working to get the tar and pitch in place for the sealing activity on the ark itself.
For all those years, he and his sons worked on what no doubt became known in the community as “Noah’s Folly!” Every time his name was mentioned in any conversation in town, it was always accompanied by that all-too-familiar sideways grin and snicker!
The ridicule and rejection did not matter to Noah, because his was not only a life of faith, but also a life of perseverance. He had determined to stick to it no matter what.
And that perseverance paid off, because when the rains came (whatever that was!), Noah and his family were safe inside this thing called an ark, and the rest of the world, those who just weeks before were “dissing” Noah and the boys for their stupidity, was pounding on the door of the ark to see if there was any more room for them in the middle of this downpour that history would call a “flood!”
So, if we take just two of the principles of life that we gain from Noah, then we will take God at His Word and do what He says to do, and we will do it for a long time, as long as we live!
Gordon MacDonald refers to this sort of lifestyle as “living below the waterline”, or “living out of the soul.”
His point is, that if you want to live a life that God will bless, that is a life that will stand up in the storms of life, then your character must be deeper and heavier and more able to withstand the attacks of the enemy of your souls, the devil himself. It is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to do the right kind of things.
If your life is deep in character, then your conduct will be able to stand up in the stormiest of storms! That’s the life that God will bless!
And it is only possible for those who know Jesus personally, trust in Him totally, and rely on His Spirit completely for strength to live victoriously! Does that describe you? It can, if you turn to Him!
Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.