1 Samuel 2:18-21
Praise Godís blessings sounds like a commandment, and it should be, but
the major problem is that most of the people refuse His blessings because
they seem to prefer the corrupt and violent ways of this world rather than
living in the heavenly will of God.
The second part of the Lordís Prayer says: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
If we pray this and believe itís from the Lord, then shouldnít we be living it?
Of course we should.
So, if we are living examples of this prayer, we will cause no pain, suffering, or death here on earth, because there is no pain, suffering, or death in heaven.
You can look up the Beatitudes for yourselves in Matthew 5:3-9, and you will note that none of them cause any harm to any other living being, and every one of those things brings with it a blessing that if we live what we are told, we will receive that blessing and then we will know what it really means to praise Godís blessings.
Godís blessings are all around us waiting for us to receive them when we are obedient to the Lord.
We have talked about Samuel in recent weeks; in 1 Samuel 2:18-21, we are told a little about Samuel as a boy ministering before the Lord.
18. Now Samuel was ministering before the LORD, as a boy wearing a linen
19. And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
Do you remember how we talked about God not wanting sacrifices last week,
and the fact no amount of sacrifices could every take away anyoneís sins?
So what Elkanah was doing was really an exercise in futility, and all he really accomplished was having innocent animals suffer and die.
20. Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, "May the LORD give you children from this woman in place of the one she dedicated to the LORD." And they went to their own home.
This is all based on superstition.
Men always assumed that if a woman couldnít conceive and bare children that it was her fault, or that she was being cursed by God; they never considered that the problem could be with the man, too, and as a result, Eliís prayer played right into that superstition.
21. And the LORD visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three
sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the LORD.
Even the Bible writers are playing into this superstition.
And while weíre on the subject, when we praise Godís blessings, letís take a look at Psalm 148:1-14Ö
1. Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
It is good to praise God, but if we are not going to live in His blessings,
what are we praising Him for?
Everyone who is truly born again and living in the heavenly will of God where there is no pain, suffering, or death, will have plenty of blessings and even get more, in which case they can sincerely praise Godís blessings.
2. Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
3. Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!
4. Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
Again, if people are living in the corrupt and violent ways of this earth, which seems to indicate that they have also rejected Godís blessings, why would they praise Godís blessings, which in turn leads me to believe that they donít, and tells us why there is so much evil and violence in the world that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
5. Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.
I wonder if such people really believe this.
6. He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away.
7. Praise the LORD from the earth,
Sea monsters and all deeps;
8. Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
9. Mountains and all hills;
Fruit trees and all cedars;
10. Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and winged fowl;
When I see a passage like this, I think of Thomas Kenís Doxology where we
hear: ďParise Him all creatures here below.Ē
If the animals are praising God it is a good sign that they will no longer be exploited for human greed and gluttony.
11. Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12. Both young men and virgins;
Old men and children.
13. Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
If we are being called upon to praise the name of the Lord that is different than praising God for His blessings, but to do this the people must have become true believers, which means that they are seeing the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.
14. And He has lifted up a horn for His people,
Praise for all His godly ones;
Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!
This is further confirmation that the psalmist is visualizing a change in
the people from being worldly to being heavenly.
Now letís think about what we are told in Colossians 3:12-17Ö
12. And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a
heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
13. bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
These are the people who have truly been born again and are living in the
heavenly will of God.
They cause no deliberate pain, suffering, or death, and do everything in their power to help free creation from its present corruption.
14. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
This is the same love that should bond all people to one another without any
regard to their religion, ethnicity, color, or any other trait that worldly
people try to use to separate us and cause strife.
This is also the same kind of love that gives us the empathy to feel the pain and suffering of the whole of creation: humans, animals, and the environment in which we all live, and to do everything in our power to eliminate their pain and suffering.
This is the love that allows us to receive Godís blessings and the inner understanding in our heart and soul so that we continuously praise Godís blessings.
15. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
It all ties together; those who have this unconditional heavenly love are also the peacemaking children of God.
16. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching
and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
In other words, this state of being is what enables us to continuously
praise Godís blessings.
So, if any of us are not like this, or who still try to praise and thank God and ask for His blessings upon any of the corrupt things of this world, such as the tortured remains of some animal on their plate or table, then itís time to repent of our worldly ways, and ask the Lord to forgive us and lead us into His heavenly will where there is no pain or suffering or death.
And if anyone is planning to make a New Yearís resolution this year, why not make one to truly live in the heavenly will of God.
We can do it, if we want to.
If we do it, then we will also be blessed and can truly praise Godís blessings.
Return to: Sermons Archive