The good of the land is for the obedient heart.
TEXT: Isaiah 1: 16-20.
God is very much concerned about the comfort and welfare of His people. It is His utmost desire to bless, protect and provide for His children. God wants us to depend on Him as our source for every need of our lives. He is the rightful owner of the good of the land. The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof (Psalm24:1). The beast of the forest, silver and gold belong to the Lord (Psalm. 50:10, Haggai 2:8. God is the one that gives us power to get wealth [Deut.8:18]
True prosperity is a function of divine connection. When you are connected to God and ready to obey Him whole heartedly, you will prosper. The believer must however pattern his/her life in obedience to God’s word in order to continually be a beneficiary of these divine blessings. How to demonstrate this obedience and be blessed of the Lord will be the focus of this study.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand the mind of God toward His children
- To identify the conditions attached to receiving blessing.
- To discover how we can demonstrate obedience to God.
- To identify some of the blessings God has for His children.
Q1. POINT OUT THE MIND GOD TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE, FROM THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURES. PSALMS 35:27; JER. 29:11; LUKE 22:32.
The bible reveals God as our dependable provider [Phil.4:19]. He cares for all our needs. He has good thoughts towards all His children. He desires the best for them. As true Christians, we are very precious in the sight of God. God cares for us even more than an ideal mother takes care of her suckling child [Isaiah .49:14-15]. 1Peter 1:18-19 says “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”. If God could love us so much while we were yet sinners, as to redeem us with the precious blood of His begotten Son, how do you think He will not provide for all our present need. God never forsakes his own in the midst of famine. The Psalmist testifies to this: ‘I have been young and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” Psalm 37: 25. The Lord who took care of the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness, the Lord who provided for Elijah at the time of famine and took care of the widow of Zarephath [1 Kings. 17: 1-16] is our God.
The mind of God is that of God is that His people should look up to Him as their Great physicians when they are sick, their Deliverer when they are oppressed, their supplier when there is dryness and famine, their provider when they are poor.
He has the ability and willingness to meet every need. His wealth is for His children, for ‘we are the sheep of His pasture’. God desires to give His children a future and a hope. He takes interest in the prosperity and wellbeing of His children.
Q2. READ ISAIAH 1: 16-19; WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS GIVEN FOR GOD’S BLESSINGS?
God blessings always have conditions attached we must give up our evil ways and do His will, defend the rights of the orphans, widows and the oppressed. The two key words in verse 19 are willingness and obedience. Willingness has to do with being desirous, interested and of a ready mind. Giving to an unwilling heart may amount to flogging a dead horse, which is a fruitful exercise. For anyone to receive from God, he must be willing and ready to accept such blessings.
We must obey the Lord wholeheartedly and in all things. Obedience to God is the bedrock of receiving from Him. Spiritual blessings are anchored on obedience to God, [Exo. 19:5; Acts 5:32]; same for material blessings, for it is written “if they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures” [Job. 36:11]. In terms of protection, obedience is paramount [Exo. 23:22; Lev. 25: 18]. Sacrifices and good works are not substitutes for obedience [1Samuel. 15:22]. God demands total obedience as a sinequanon [essential condition] for His blessings.
Q3. HOW DO WE DEMONSTRATE OBEDIENCE TO GOD, IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS?
a. Our Homes. Eph. 5:21-33
Marriage is instituted by God to achieve certain goals, part of which is to raise godly seeds. In the institution of marriage, God gave responsibilities to the man, woman, children and other members of the family. The husband is to tenderly love and honor his wife (Eph. 5:25, 28; 1Peter.3:7).
He is expected to meet the spiritual and physical needs of members of the family. The wife is to submit to, love, reverence and assist the husband (Ephe.5:22, 33b; Gen.1:18). She is a homemaker and a guide to the children. The children are to obey, honor and submit to their parents[Eph,6:1]. We demonstrate obedience to God by fulfilling our individual responsibilities.
b. The church Heb. 13:17; 1Cor.11:1; 1Pet.5:1-4.
We demonstrate obedience to God by being submissive to godly pastors and leaders in the church; we are to love, care and co-operate with them. Obedience to God can also be measured by the level of our commitment to God’s work and our concern for the welfare of all God’s people in the church [Matt. 25:33-40].
c. Our careers, Businesses, vocations etc. Eph. 6:5-9; rom. 12:11.
The fear of God must guide our choices of career, businesses and vocations. We must not be involved in activities that do not glorify God or that will have a counter- productive effect on our Christian faith. Our career and indeed whatever we do to earn a living must be seen as an integral service to God. We are to conduct such activities in the fear of God and to the glory of His name 1Cor. 10:13.
d. Our neighbor-hood Rom. 13:8-14.
Obedience to God is demonstrated by the way we live in our neighbor-hood; this must be in conformity with God’s words. We are to shine as light in our neighbor-hood. Exemplary conduct, love and concern for our neighbors is what God expect from us.
Q4. FROM THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURES, IDENTIFY SOME OF THE BLESSINGS [GOOD OF THE LAND] THAT GOD HAS PROMISED US. EXO.15:26; ISA. 53:5; 3JOHN. 2; PSALM. 91; 32:8; PHIL. 4:19; MATT. 6:33.
God has a lot of blessings for his obedient children.
a. Spiritual blessings. Exo. 19:5; Acts.5:32; 1Peter. 1:22,2:9.
Obedience to the Lord attracts spiritual blessings. Our sins are forgiven, and the holy spirit indwells in us. We become peculiar treasure, royal priesthood, a holy nation, joint heirs with Christ, people of God with eternal life.
b. Good health/healing. Exo. 15:26; Isa.53:5.
We ac enjoy continuous sound health from our God. For a period of forty years, the children of Israel were in the wilderness without anyone being infirmed. They stayed healthy all through, as God excluded them from all ‘Egyptian’ diseases.
Testimonies abound of some Christians enjoy same today. Even when we fall sick, the Lord promised us healing, no matter the nature of the ailment or medical report, let us look up to God for our healing. God’s healing promises are still valid today [Heb. 13:8]. His wish is that we prosper and be in good health even as our souk prospers [3John.2]
c. Protection/deliverance. Psalm. 91.
God has promised us protection against spiritual and physical attack. Even if they come in form of witches and wizards, kidnappers, hired assassins, or traps and snares of the enemy, the Lord is able to protect us. The Lord is our defense and protective shield [ Deut. 33:27; Psalm 115: 11]. He is our hiding place [Psalm. 322:7].
d. Daily provision. Phil.4:19; Matt. 6: 33; 7:7- 11.
God has promised the provision of our necessities of life such as food, clothes and shelter. He who miraculously supplied quail and manna in the desert [ Exo. 16:12-15; Psalm. 78:23-29] has promised to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. Even during famine and drought, the Lord is there for us [Psalm. 33: 18-19, 37: 18-19; Exo. 17: 1-6].
e. Promotion. Psalm. 75:8-7
Promotion comes only from God. He is the one that can lift somebody up and bring another down.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION:
It is God’s desire that His people should prosper and be happy in life. However, He repeatedly reminded the Israelites that His blessings have conditions. [Deut. 28: 1-6]. He will bless only those who listen carefully to His words, obey Him faithfully and carefully do all He commands. As we obey Him, He will bless us, our children, all we have and all we do, God will never leave His people nor forsake them. His mind towards us is that of blessings and prosperity. In willingness and obedience of our hearts to Him, we will eat the good of the land.
Isa. 1:19 – “if ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land”.