by Steven Chan
The Bible declares that all who trust in God are blessed indeed. “Blessed” in the sense that one is in a favourable, desirable, happy and joyful position. It is not wrong to desire to be blessed. In fact our Lord began His well-known sermon in Matt 5, with the phrase, “Blessed are those who…” Jesus wants all of us to be “blessed” or “happy” as we enjoy the favour of God. Similarly, the very first Psalm begins with the similar phrase: “Blessed is the man…”
The Psalmist describes the man who is blessed as one who prefers to spend a day in the house of God than a thousand day in the tents of wicked people (Psa 84:10). Why is that the preference of the “blessed” man? He gave the answer in Psa 27:4-5: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. 5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” The Psalmist desired to spend time in the house of God, even if it is for a short period of time, because he delights to be in the presence of the loving, gracious and mighty God, and he knows that there he can find safety and protection against all kinds of trouble. He knows that he will have God’s blessings.
The church is the house of God (1 Tim 3:15): “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Do those who want to be blessed desire to spend time in the house of God, His church today – so that we can “exhort or encourage one another” unto “further love and good works” (Heb 3:13; 10:24-25) and “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom (as we meditate on God’s Word during the public assemblies), teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord.”(Col 3:16)? Sadly, many seemed to struggle to attend just one public assembly of the brethren a week. By their long and habitual absence from the weekly regular assemblies of the saints, they indicate that they are not convinced that the assembly of the saints in the presence of God, would bring “blessings” to them.
Do we not share the sentiments of the Psalmist who rejoiced at being in the house of God because the Lord God gives “light and warmth” to our lives, and also “shield” us from all harm? In His presence, God gives us “grace” to live our lives, free from anxiety and worry, and God also gives us “glory” as we are more than conquerors over trials and tribulations.
To top it all, the Psalmist says, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” In other words, God will bless us with every good thing – both spiritual and physical. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Tim 4:8 and Phil 4:19: “godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come… And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Let us therefore resolve to walk uprightly and to spend time in the house of God so that we may truly be blessed.
On the other hand, if we prefer to spend time away from God’s household, then we ought not to expect God’s blessings even though we may be working very hard to get the things we so earnestly desire to have. The Bible says in Psa 127:1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it”. In Haggai 1:5-9 the Bible says: “Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! 6 “You have sown much, and bring in little… And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes… 9 “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little.” Why? Why are you working so hard and yet do not feel that you have enough? God asks you to consider your ways. Do you really trust God?
Here’s what the Psalmist wrote in Psa 84:10-12:-
10“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!” (Psa 84:10-12)