Today is the 4th of July when we celebrate Independence Day, the founding of America. America was founded on biblical principles and has been blessed down through the centuries as it has followed those principles. Let’s watch a video entitled “God Bless America.” Let’s pray for America together.
My message today is entitled “Find God’s Blessing.” Just as we desire for God to bless America, so we long for God’s blessing on our lives. What is God’s blessing? God’s blessings are the good gifts that He gives us to us. These blessings could be spiritual, physical, relational or even emotional. Forgiveness is a blessing, healing is a blessing, joy is a blessing, family is a blessing and we could go on and on. The word blessing is used about 410 times in the Bible, which indicates how important it is. How do we receive God’s blessing?
Deuteronomy 28:2 (ESV) And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.
This is a conditional promise. God’s blessing come to those who obey God. This promise was first given to the nation of Israel and remains true today. When you obey God, you don’t have to chase after blessing, it chases after you. What happens if you don’t obey God?
Deuteronomy 28:15 (ESV) “But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.
If someone is disobedient or rebellious to the Lord, then not only will they not be blessed, but rather curses will overtake them. A curse is the opposite of a blessing, Whereas a blessing is a good gift, a curse is something evil or bad that comes upon a person. The word for curse is used some 230 times in the Bible. Since none of us can perfectly keep God’s commands, we were all under the curse of sin.
Galatians 3:13a -14 (ESV) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us … so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come … so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
The good news is that when we believe in Jesus, Jesus forgives us, removes the curse and replaces it with blessing. How can we as believers continue to walk in all the blessing God has for us? Through growing in obedience to God’s Word and God’s Spirit. Today, we’re going to see how David’s obedience to God led to God’s blessing in his life. We’re going to learn some principles that will increase the blessing in our lives.
2 Samuel 5:6 (ESV) And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.”
When David became King after Saul, Israel was facing serious challenges. David believed that God wanted Jerusalem to be capital of the kingdom. However, the city of Jerusalem was under the control of the Jebusites. It was a fortress city, located at a high elevation and easy to defend. The Jebusites were confident that their city could not be captured, they thought it was impossible.
If David attacked Jerusalem and failed, it would be very bad for his kingdom. Yet, a normal attack seemed doomed to failure. What should he do?
2 Samuel 5:7-8 (ESV) Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ …
God led David to believe him for the impossible and send his soldiers to attack though the water shaft. The water shaft was some type of tunnel sending water from outside into the city. David’s men either swam, waded or crawled through the narrow water shaft. It was a plan that the enemy never envisioned anyone attempting. The attack achieved total surprise and the victory was complete. Jerusalem became the most important city in the world. It is mentioned in the Bible over 800 times.
2 Samuel 5:10 (ESV) And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him.
The blessing of God on David’s life kept increasing. Not because David was so great, but because the Lord was with him. And why was God with David? Because David was following God’s direction and believing Him for the impossible.
Is blessing the same as success in life? The answer is that it depends on how you define success. Blessings are good gifts from God. Success in God’s eyes is fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. Success in God’s eyes may not be the same as success in man’s eyes. Many people seem successful who are not following God at all. They are not walking in God’s blessing.
We want to be blessed and find success in God’s eyes. God wants you to believe Him for the impossible in your life. God desires for you to do things that are impossible without His help. As you believe God and follow His direction, He will give you His blessings. These blessings of God will empower you to achieve God’s plans. Believe God for the impossible.
2 Samuel 6:12 (ESV) And it was told King David, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing.
The ark of the covenant was considered the dwelling place of God’s promise. Inside the ark, among other things, were the ten commandments inscribed by God. Above the ark, the visible presence of God appeared in the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest could enter into God’s presence once a year. Through a series of events, the ark had been taken to the home of a man named Obed-edom.
And what happened? His whole household was blessed. The presence of the Lord brings blessing. Yet, God’s presence was not just for one household, it was for the whole nation. King Saul had overlooked the ark, but David wanted to put God first. He brought the ark of God up into the city of Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 6:14-15 (ESV) And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
There was great rejoicing when the ark of God was brought into the city. David publicly danced before the Lord, taking off his kingly robes. The people rejoiced with shouts and the blowing of horns. They were celebrating putting the presence of the Lord in it’s rightful place.
2 Samuel 6:17 (ESV) And they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
The ark was placed in a tent, as the temple had not yet been built. Sacrifices were offered by David at this tabernacle. The ark of the covenant was the centerpiece of worship for Israel. David had put God first by bringing the ark into the capital city. He celebrated God’s blessing by giving each person a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and raisins.
God no longer dwells above the ark of the covenant. God dwells inside every believer and in His church through the Holy Spirit. So, how do we put God’s presence first in our lives today? Or perhaps we might ask, how do we abide or remain in God’s presence? We abide in God’s presence through obedience and putting Him first. Disobedience separates us from the presence of God. We get back into God’s presence by repentance and asking for forgiveness.
Praise and prayer draws us deeper into the presence of God. God desires of you to be aware of His presence all the time. We are to continually be in an attitude of prayer with the Lord. The presence of the Lord is intensified when believers gather together to seek God. As we learn to put God first and dwell in His presence, the blessings of God will grow and increase in our lives.
2 Samuel 7:1-2 (ESV) Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.”
David was led to seek to build an appropriate house for the ark, a temple. The tent of tabernacle that had been used in the wilderness was for the sake of travel. Now, the ark was in a more permanent place, in the city of Jerusalem. David want to honor God by building a temple around the ark. At first, Nathan the prophet, told David, that he should do as his heart led.
2 Samuel 7:4 (ESV) But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan,
The prophet had spoken before consulting the Lord. The Lord spoke through Nathan to David and showed him His plan.
2 Samuel 7:12-13 (ESV) When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
David had been the one anointed to unify the kingdom of Israel and defeat its enemies. David had established the capital city of Jerusalem and brought the ark back. Yet, the Lord had chosen a son of David, Solomon, to build the temple, not David. God would bring blessing to David’s descendants and kingdom forever. This prophesy was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, a descendant of David who reigns forever.
Although David’s desire to honor God by building the temple himself, was not granted, David praised the Lord for the future blessing to his descendants. David’s heart was to honor and glorify God and that pleased God.
The Bible teaches us that the primary reason we were created is to worship and glorify God. To glorify God is to give Him honor and to serve Him. David desired to build a temple to glorify God. How can we glorify God today? Let’s make it personal.
Matthew 5:16 (ESV) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
As a believer, your body is a temple of God, of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside. As we obey and follow God’s direction in our words and deeds, His light shines through us to others. They see our good works and do what? They glorify God in heaven because of what He is doing through us.
What are good works? Showing God’s love to others. Telling others God’s truth. Bringing others into God’s family. Since our body is God’s temple, then everything we do and everything we say should bring glory to Him. Seek to honor God and you will be blessed.
Today, we’ve looked at some of the actions of David that resulted in God’s blessing. We also can learn about his heart by reading the psalms that he wrote. We ought to believe God for the impossible. Not impossible things that we dream up, but the impossible things God calls us to.
As we step out in courage, God blesses us with the strength to carry out His will. Put God and His presence first in your life. When God is first in your life, you will obey Him. Jesus said, if you love me, you will obey my commandments.
Finally, we ought to seek to honor God and glorify Him. As we let His light shine through us, others will glorify God. As we follow God in these ways, His blessings will come into your life. You will be blessed so that you can keep on blessing others.
You will truly find God’s blessing.