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A Better Way To Think About Blessing

In Brisbane Mater Public Hospital, just after 11pm at night, on the 9th of June at the youthful age of 22, I had the privilege of holding in my hands our first-born child. I held her as she screamed her little lungs out! What a remarkable blessing, a genuine gift from God.


I take it we all desire to walk under blessing. Whether it’s the kind words of a friend or favour from someone who has authority over us or a gift that we receive or a plan that comes together - the blessings that come our way, they are… a blessing.


Therefore it would seem appropriate to ask the question, how do we find blessing?


Blessed But Not Blessed


Yet, blessing is kind of complicated. If someone chases blessing as a raw pursuit in life, then it is possible to end up wildly off track.


When I was arrived at University in Brisbane it would be appropriate to say that I was chasing blessing. I wanted to have a good time, to have good experiences, to be on a high through all of life. I enjoyed having good friends, good times and good grades. Yet as it turned out, the way I was seeking after blessing, was actually reaping for me the opposite of blessing. The more I drank, the less I remembered and the worse I treated my friends and the worse they treated me. I’d got off track somehow.


How do we find blessing, God’s way?


Blessed Complexity


In the middle of 2018, a period where Mackay region and myself personally experienced what you might say was the opposite of blessing, I found myself truely blessed as I drew deeper in my relationship with God. Since that time it’s often been the difficult or at other times, the left of centre circumstances, that have turned out to be the most blessed. How is that, why is that, how do we make sense of the mystery that is the blessing of God?


A Blessed Principle


2 Corinthians 9:6 says, 'Whoever sows generously will also reap generously.' In the context the apostle Paul is specifically talking about the Corinthians financial giving towards the poor, but the principle that he passes on is also clearly illustrated in the book of Ruth.


In the book, we’ve been introduced to a man named Boaz. Ruth 2:1 indicates that he is highly respected and likely indicates that he is also wealthy. We hear about his harvesters and servants in the context of the abundant barley harvest happening in Bethlehem. Yet, as we dig deeper into Boaz’s history, we learn that he is also unmarried, without children and the possible reason for this is the fact that he is the son of prostitute named Rahab, who was not a natural born Israelite.


Yet as Ruth comes into contact with Boaz, we see that he is one who ‘sows generously’. Being a farmer takes faith, as the farmer sacrifices eating and selling some of his harvest, so that he retains seed for the next season. This seed he will freely scatter, trusting for it to multiply and become the next harvest. But Boaz also has faith to follow God’s law with regard to allowing the widow, the fatherless and the foreigner to glean in his fields. Further, in awareness of Ruth’s circumstances, he both asks his workers to leave extra stalks of grain for her to pick up and feeds her from his workers supplies. In Ruth 3, we see Boaz begin to reap generously.


'When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!' (Ruth 3:7-8).


The back story here is that Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi, through Boaz’s generosity, has begun to see God’s hand of blessing in her own difficult situation. She has the opportunity to get her and Ruth out of their difficult situation and so she has sent Ruth to have a private conversation with Boaz.

“Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.” (Ruth 3:9)


In this question, Boaz immediately perceives the blessing that God is placing at his feet. In a society where land was strictly owned along family lines, the opportunity to purchase land was rare. If a family fell on hard times, they might offer to sell their land, but the hope was that a family member would be able to step in and ‘redeem’ the land (according to Leviticus 25:25ff). The family member would purchase it to keep the land in the family. Added to this was the fact that if there were no male descendants in a particular family, then the land would attach to the females in the family, and they had to marry within their tribal group, so that the land ultimately stayed within the same tribal family (see Numbers 26 and Luke 20:28-30). These two stipulations combine in Ruth’s situation, such that Boaz who sowed some of his seed to the poor, is poised to reap both land and a wife. We need to know that whoever sows generously, reaps generously.


A Blessed God


Yet to sow seeds, means taking something that could bring you immediate life, and to let it die instead, so that it might multiply. How do we allow such a counter-intuitive action to happen?


Well, one thing we must realise is that God has allowed this to happen in his own life. He sowed a son, Jesus, onto this earth to die. He did it that he might generously reap many sons and daughters through that death. The very fact that we can know God, is an experience of us reaping the benefit of God’s sacrifice on our behalf.


'For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.' (2 Corinthians 8:9)


God has generously sown his life into us who were in utter poverty in terms of our relationship with him. All we need to do is freely receive the riches of a relationship with God through Jesus. That relationship came at great cost to our God, but he reaps generously, in terms of restored relationship with us who he has made.


A Blessed Life


The call on us is to follow in his footsteps. Boaz for his part, doesn’t look to hoard his blessing, but continues to sow abundantly.

  • He verbally sows praises on Ruth for her kindness and character (Ruth 3:10)

  • He commits to sow the time and effort it will take on his own part to see this proposal through (Ruth 3:11-13)

  • He sows his thoughts towards the protection of Ruth’s reputation (Ruth 3:14)

  • He sows more barley seeds into Ruth’s shawl (3:15)

Our responsibility is to sow generously of our time, money, thought and effort towards others, in obedience to God. It is God’s responsibility to see that we reap generously, as we walk in all the abundant riches of Jesus Christ.


What might God be asking you to sow today?


 

About the Author


Jai Wright is a Christian Minister, who founded and leads MAKE Church in Mackay, Qld. He recently published the book, Life Plugged In: Connecting with the Source of Peace, Power and Purpose.


You might like to think a little bit more about your spiritual health, by taking the Spiritual Health Check Score Card here.



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