Proverbs 3:33

The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
Rewards and trials fall on us throughout our lives. Consider then by what manner you most want to receive them and from whom.

One minister of a large, popular church has received many rewards. He has one of the largest congregations in the country and is one of the most recognized religious figures. His church and ministry empire flourishes; he is blessed with material prosperity and gives the appearance of being a happy man. His trials would be that of receiving criticism from other Christians who disapprove of his teaching. He would also be criticized by nonreligious people as well. And no doubt there are trials associated with running such a large operation. Nevertheless, he believes he is blessed by God.

But what will he say to God when he must give account of his ministry? How will he explain that he rarely taught scripture, and when he did, he twisted it to mean what it does not say? How will he react when he learns that the crowds came to him, not out of blessing by the Lord, but because their sinful desires for worldly success were encouraged by him?

What is the blessing that God gives to the righteous? He may or may not give physical health and prosperity. The proverbs teach that the righteous typically can expect better health, longer life, and greater prosperity; even so, those are the natural results of godly living. The righteous, along with the wicked, do suffer illness, die early deaths, and struggle to pay bills. What then is the blessing they can expect that the wicked cannot have?

There is eternal salvation, eternal bliss living in the presence of God and his favor, eternal worship in the midst of multitudes of his saints, the freedom from all suffering, the freedom from ever committing, even contemplating, a sin.

There is the present blessing of this assured hope; the blessing of God’s revealed Word which fills us with knowledge of our God, of his salvation, and of his instruction for life; the blessing of possessing the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to please God and to resist sin; the blessing of the gospel of Christ which assures us of forgiveness when we do sin; the blessing of Christian fellowship and of ministering in the name of Christ; the blessing of knowing what is true, what is good; the blessing of seeing the beauty of creation and knowing the Creator.

The list can go on. The point is to know what is true blessing and from whom you want to receive it. Jesus spoke of the Pharisees who displayed their religiosity in public so as to receive acclaim. He said that they have received the reward they will get. Seek not after temporal blessing that ends in judgment. Seek the blessing of God that enters into the dwelling of your heart now and lasts through eternity.

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