Understanding Blessings – A Biblical Blueprint on Seeking God’s Favour Psalm 133

April 17, 2024

Understanding Blessings – A Biblical Blueprint on Seeking God’s Favour Psalm 133

Listen to last week’s sermon The Blessing Blueprint found in Psalm 133

The Blessing Blueprint

The concept of blessings in the Christian faith is often surrounded by misconceptions and assumptions. Some argue that seeking blessings is a sign of selfishness, while others point to biblical figures who actively sought God’s favour. Last week’s sermon aimed to clarify these misunderstandings by examining the nature of blessings and the biblical precedent for seeking them.

Misconceptions About Seeking Blessings

Selfishness in Seeking Blessings

A common misconception is that seeking blessings or praying for them is inherently selfish. This view is sometimes supported by a misinterpretation of James’ warning against asking with wrong motives, which is thought to discourage the pursuit of blessings altogether. However, this interpretation overlooks the broader biblical narrative that includes earnest seekers of God’s blessings, such as Jacob and Jabez.

The Nature of God’s Generosity

The sermon and various sources emphasize that God’s nature is one of abundance and generosity. God delights in blessing His children and desires to pour out His overflowing love, grace, and provision upon them. The idea that believers are trying to manipulate a stingy God is contrary to the biblical portrayal of a God who is eager to bless more than we are to receive.

Blessings and Suffering

Another misunderstanding is that being blessed guarantees a life free from suffering or problems. The Beatitudes, as well as the experiences of many Christians throughout history, demonstrate that blessings often coexist with trials, persecution, and hardships.

Blessings Versus Personal Comfort

There is also a tendency to confuse blessings with personal comfort and convenience. While God does care for our well-being, blessings in the biblical sense are not limited to individual comfort. They are designed to enable us to bless others and to fulfill God’s purposes.

Biblical Examples of Seeking Blessings

Jacob’s Persistence

Jacob’s all-night wrestling in prayer, refusing to let go until he received a blessing, is a powerful example of the earnest pursuit of God’s favour. This act of denying comfort and sleep to seek God’s blessing is commended, not condemned, in Scripture.

Jabez’s Bold Prayer

Jabez’s prayer for blessing and expansion of territory is another instance where seeking God’s blessing is portrayed positively in the Bible. God’s favorable response to Jabez’s request reinforces the idea that it is appropriate to ask for blessings.

The Generosity of God

God’s generosity is a central theme in understanding blessings. He is described as extravagant in generosity, with inexhaustible resources, limitless power, and priceless love. God’s willingness to give proceeds from His character, and His love for the world is demonstrated through the gift of His Son.

Psalm 133 and Its Significance

Pastor Eric then elaborated on Psalm 133 as a divine blueprint for blessing. This psalm, part of the “Songs of Ascents,” was likely sung by pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem for religious festivals. It is a short yet powerful psalm that uses vivid imagery to convey the beauty and blessings of living together in harmony.

The Goodness and Pleasantness of Unity

The opening verse of Psalm 133 declares how “good and pleasant” it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. This goodness recalls God’s own assessment of creation, where everything He made was deemed good, including the provision of community for humanity. The term “pleasant” encompasses a range of positive attributes such as loveliness, attractiveness, and joy, which are all aspects of a harmonious community.

Anointing Oil

The second verse of the psalm uses the metaphor of oil, specifically the anointing of Aaron, the first High Priest of Israel. This oil symbolizes hospitality, consecration, and blessing. As the oil was poured upon Aaron’s head, it flowed down his beard and onto his robes, signifying the abundance and overflow of God’s blessings to His people.

Dew of Hermon

The third verse speaks of the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. Mount Hermon, known for its dew, represents the life-giving and refreshing presence of God’s blessings. This dew is symbolic of the unity among God’s people, which brings life and blessings, much like the dew brings moisture to a dry land.

The Call to Peace-Making and Unity

Believers are called to be peace-makers, actively seeking the common good and resolving conflicts to maintain unity. Efforts for unity are not optional but are a non-negotiable aspect of living as followers of Christ. There are situations however that may be difficult to resolve if one person is not aligned or resolved to unity.

Watch sermon here:

psalm 133 sermon

Interactive Questions for Small Group Discussion

Understanding Blessings

What are some common misconceptions you’ve heard about seeking blessings?

How does understanding God’s nature as generous and loving change your perspective on seeking blessings?

Biblical Examples

How do the stories of Jacob and Jabez inspire you to seek God’s blessings in your own life?

Can you think of other biblical figures who sought God’s blessings? What can we learn from them?

The Nature of God’s Generosity

How have you experienced God’s generosity in your life?

How can we, as believers, reflect God’s generosity in our interactions with others?

Psalm 133 and Unity

What does Psalm 133 teach us about the relationship between unity and blessing?

How can we promote unity within our community and what might be the challenges in doing so?

Blessings and Suffering

How do you reconcile the concept of being blessed with experiencing suffering or hardships?

Can you share a time when you experienced blessings amidst trials?

Blessings Versus Personal Comfort

How does our culture’s understanding of “blessings” differ from the biblical understanding?

Can you share an example of a time when you experienced a blessing that wasn’t necessarily tied to personal comfort?