Be blessed by bringing peace where there is enmity.
Christ’s Church in Jerusalem shares their facilities with a Messianic congregation. We were blessed to worship joyfully on a Sunday during Sukkot. (the Feast of Tabernacles) Posted in the building was the first of two signs that caught my attention.
Blessed is the life of the One who came in the name of the Lord. Jesus is forever blessed. Now His followers come in His name proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. And they are also blessed.
We are helped to understand what it means to be blessed when reading the first and second chapters of Genesis. God blessed the creatures and they multiplied. Then He blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Those who are blessed are made holy, set apart, to bear fruit in the kingdom of God.
To be blessed or cursed.
I spotted another sign outside of the building. It brought to my mind truth for those who would be blessed.
Not everyone does. Violence and hate are more common. Did you know that instead of blessing many bring upon themselves a curse?
God made a promise to Abraham: “And I will bless those who bless you. And the ones who curse you, I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3) Now some would say, “The promise only applied to Abraham who has long since departed.” But this is what God said to Isaac, Abraham’s son.
“Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.” (Genesis 26:3-5)
What has been promised, both land, descendants, and the oath to bless or curse continued because Abraham obeyed God. In case your thinking that I am adding to Scripture consider Isaac’s blessing over Jacob.
“Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, And the fatness of the Earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine; May peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you.” (Genesis 27:28-30) When Jacob asked for a blessing Isaac believed the promise of a “blessing or curse” would continue.
Later, a king asked a prophet to ask God to curse the children of Israel. God responded in this way to His children, Israel. “He bows down, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, and cursed is everyone who curses you.” (Numbers 24: 9) Are you starting to see a pattern?
Perhaps you have read of King David and his throne that God established forever, (1 Chronicles 17) or his son Solomon in whom God delighted. (1 kings 10:9) Have you heard the psalmist cry, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)
In case you’re not quite convinced that the children of Israel warrant our love and prayers for peace, I will leave you with the words of he apostle Paul writing to Christians in Rome. “From the standpoint of the Gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:28-29) It is God Almighty who loves them, how can we not? Besides, it is better to be blessed than cursed.
To pray for the peace of Jerusalem is to pray for the return of Jesus, our Lord and their Messiah. There will not be peace until He returns.