God Blesses Through Protection As Well As Provision
13 He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
God delights in sovereignly protecting His people. He is greatly concerned with and involved in securing the national borders of Israel, and considers national borders to be of vital importance to a nation. It is God who watches over the city (and, by inference, the nations):
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
God is very involved in the raising up of leaders and nations (for His sovereign purposes):
5 “Look at the nations and watch-
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,
that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
to seize dwellings not their own.”
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
God desires to bless us in abundance with everything that we could every need or desire. He greatly desires that we desire Him; for when we desire Him, He will provide Himself in even greater measure:
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Protected in Peace
The traditional greeting in Hebrew is “shalom“. This is a blessing upon either an individual or a group of people. It is a blessing of peace to another. God greatly desires to protect us in peace:
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
Here is another translation:
When a man’s ways please the Lord,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
God desires is that we live in peace with everyone. When we are being obedient to Him, and pleasing Him with our ways, even our foulest, most despicable, war-like, offensive, murderous, odious, and otherwise ill-willed enemies will be forced to be at peace with us. How great a blessing is that!
God provides richly for his children, and greatly desires to provide the finest goods for them. This is not a “name it and claim it” blessing, but rather an indication that when God’s favor is upon us, we will have the opportunity to partake of the finest goods that the land has to offer.
The United States of America, in previous years, had been greatly blessed by God. The standard of living of the people in her borders was far and above that of just about every other nation on Earth. The finest goods and services were both produced and consumed in her by her citizens. God’s blessing upon her was abundantly apparent, and she was the envy of the nations. People willingly forsook their countries of birth for the mere chance at the opportunity to come to her shores and partake in the opportunity and blessing afforded in righteousness before God.
But as her people turned their hearts away from God, banishing Him from her schools, government, businesses, laws, and every other nook and cranny within her, God, being the gentleman that He is, politely nodded His head in acknowledgement of her people’s collective decision, and has withdrawn both Himself and His blessing from her people. And as her people indulge themselves in wickedness and self-centeredness, they are reaping what they have sown. For although her people still have a significantly higher standard of living than most of the world, her people are now, in comparison, poor and living in wretchedness as a result of their wickedness.
God greatly desires to protect and provide for those who would seek Him out in righteousness. This is not a bribe to people, but rather the way that He seeks to display His mercy and glory. Not everyone who seeks the Lord will become well-off financially. Rather, they will reap a reward of abundance in righteousness. And God, who is sovereign, will secure their future with Him in salvation purchased through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, as it washes those who have sought Him clean of their stain of sin. Being reconciled to God, they can now live in freedom from sin and in peace with God and man. Regardless of whether monetary and/or Earthly riches are provided in this life, God has abundantly provided riches in spiritual blessings for all eternity to those who would kiss the Son.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I partaking of the abundant blessing that God offers in His Son?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, Thank You for Your protection and blessing. Thank You for watching over my household, my city, and my nation. Thank You for your abundant provision through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. I know, Father that you know of my needs, and I confess them to you now. Help me that I may seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness that all of these may be added unto me. Help me to treasure my inheritance, and to look forward to the future when my present circumstances appear bleak. Reveal to me Your glory, power, presence and peace so that I may have the strength to endure the trials that I face. Forgive my nation for its many sins. I confess them to you now, for we have forsaken You, My Lord and My God. Help change the hearts of those who have indulged in the pleasures of this world so that they would seek the beauty and peace that only You can provide in relationship with You. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.