This isn’t exactly a post but some brief, not-totally-developed, thoughts and questions.
Obedience brings blessing. Does obedience bring blessing? I hear this said by Christians sometimes in a way that concerns me, as though obedience is a guarantee of blessing.
Does God OWE us blessing? Is God a vending machine? I inserted my obedience, now give me blessing?
Is this a good underlying motive to appeal to? Obey in order to get? We are already tuned into WIIFM (what’s in it for me) radio waves, without further encouraging these naturally selfish motives.
Perhaps is it better to obey because we love God and are grateful for all God has done for us through Christ?
Do we earn God’s blessing? We did not obtain our salvation that way, it is by FAITH ALONE. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
So do we think it changes after salvation, and we earn God’s blessing?
John 1:16 emphasizes that it is grace upon grace. Unmerited favor, not merited favor.
What about Job? A very righteous man who had horrible things happen to him.
What about Paul? A very obedient man and his ministry brought him suffering and hardship.
Of course, Paul had many spiritual blessings and emphasized the eternal side of life. But I don’t think we are typically referring to spiritual blessings when we speak of blessing – but rather to material comforts in this life.
Making good decisions in life often leads to good results (and vice versa) but is no guarantee. The rain falls on the just and unjust. We live in a fallen world awaiting the final redemption and sometimes bad things just happen. It does not mean we are cursed, rather than blessed, by God.
For more thoughts about blessing, check out Psalm 1 and the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. Are you blessed? Are you sure?
Just throwing some thoughts out there.