“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 28:1-14
It is unquestioningly remarkable to think of blessings so numerous and so frequently given that they are described in terms of coming upon us and overtaking us. A related image is that of a a massive wave overtaking a surfer or that of two runners moving at some speed, but the one behind is running at a greater speed and soon catches up with the first runner, but he doesn’t just settle in at his speed, he overtakes him. He outruns the first man. The first man can’t keep up with him.
Now imagine blessings coming to you so great in volume and speed that you can’t get away from them. They come at you as though the blessings are pursuing you. This is what God promised the children of Israel if they would keep all of His commandments.
Now we know that Israel never fully received this blessing though many died looking forward to it coming one day. Generation after generation sought to fulfill the whole law and may of them died not receiving the promise because God had a better plan that included us.
Hebrews 11 reveals the hidden mystery of the promises.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13
“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40
The promises of the covenants of God were given to the prophets of old but not just for the blessing of the people of Israel, but also and most importantly to the Seed of Abraham, which is ultimately Jesus and His Church, the people of God who are the joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:27-29
Therefore, it is no stretch of truth to conclude that we are the objects of the overtaking blessings promised in Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
Our natural state of being in the Body of Christ is to constantly be overtaken by blessings that there is never any lack of anything that we need or could desire.
Consider these promises.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” 2 Peter 1:3-12
So the promises are given to us. But the pathway to receiving them lies first in the doing of God’s commandments to add to our faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity (love). I don’t doubt that someone has imagined or has done a Bible study on “ Seven Steps to Love” or “Seven Steps to Charity.” If not, then here is one given to us in this passage Scripture. Simplistically speaking, if we start with faith on day one and we add one attribute a day, in seven days we would be at charity. I speak hypothetically of course.
Seriously, and fortunately for us, these are not commodities to be picked up at the local market. Rather, they are evidences of the transformational power of the Holy Spirit in us to cause us to be conformed to the image of Christ. These qualities of our re-born nature and character are not acquired instantly, but are developed and maintained over time. We can hasten the time somewhat by the decision to diligently seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness always and in all things, day-by-day and moment-by-moment.
The more we immerse ourselves in the pursuit of the knowledge of God and the doing of His will, the more we will realize of the blessings promised to us as the heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer withhim, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:16-18
Every act of faith as an act of love results in both immediate and long-term blessings. [See Matthew 13:8, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 6:38, 8:8, 13:23; 2 Corinthians 9:10-16]
The promise to be blessed is inextricably tied to the promise to be a blessing. Consistent with our newborn spirit is the desire to minister to others, to bless and not to curse, to enrich and to show the love of God to others. It’s who we are in Christ. The more we exercise that inclination in us, the stronger it will become until it is indistinguishable from our identity as the children of God.
Let this then become the driving passion of your life. It is the fundamental characteristic of Christ’s life. He gave Himself for us without reservation or requirement that we return His love. Now that we are His, God has promised blessings on us in such measure that we cannot escape them. Why? Because, as imitators of God we have the power to be His agents of blessings to others. This is the force of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that every man, woman and child in the world has the opportunity to be conformed to and to walk in the fullness of the life of Jesus Christ in righteousness, holiness and abundant life, now and forever.