I begin this blog by providing information about the meaning of names in the Bible. Each person's name had a meaning that was related to his/her destiny. Jeremiah means "appointed by God." God appointed Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations. Caleb means "courageous." Caleb was one of the two spies who proclaimed that the Israelites could take the land of Canaan despite the giants who lived there. John (from which my name Shane is derived) means "God is gracious." John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ. Speaking of Jesus, His name means "God is salvation." Indeed, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.
For the most part, the names of people in the Bible had positive meanings. However, a few had negative denotations. For example, let's look at Jabez. His name means "He will cause pain." The name resulted from his mother's painful experience in giving birth to him. Jabez was not the most popular name in the world, and it would seem that Jabez's destiny was to cause pain. Nevertheless, we see that this was not the case. 1 Chronicles 4:9 (NKJV) states that "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers." Perhaps it was his faith in God and devotion to prayer that gave him this status.
1 Chronicles 4:10 relates a prayer that Jabez makes to God. In the first part of the prayer, Jabez says, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed..." Sounds a bit selfish, doesn't it? Normally, when we pray, we ask God to bless our family, our friends, and even our enemies. But, praying for ourselves is unnatural. I believe that we should pray for ourselves in the sense of asking God to bless us. I will explain more about why God wants to bless us in an upcoming blog.
After beginning his prayer for God to bless him, Jabez specifies how he desires God to bless him. He requests that God would enlarge his territory, that God's hand would be with him, that God would keep him from evil, and that he would not cause pain. (For more on Jabez's prayer requests, I would highly recommend Bruce Wilkinson's book The Prayer of Jabez.) The last sentence of this verse states God's response to Jabez's prayer: So God granted him what he requested." This means that God not only heard Jabez's prayer, but He also answered his prayer as he desired. Indeed, it was God's will to bless Jabez.
The psalmist David writes, "For You, Lord, will bless the [uncomprisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]" (Psalm 5:12a, AMP). The word "will" can mean "want to", so this verse could mean that God wants to bless the ones who are in right standing with Him. Who are the ones considered righteous? Romans 5:1 declares that those who have placed their faith in God's Son are the righteous individuals. Even we who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior are righteous in the eyes of God.. Therefore, it would be safe to restate Psalm 5:12a, "For You, Lord, want to bless us who have placed our whole trust in Your Son Jesus Christ and have become righteous as a result."
Since God wants to bless us, it would be logical to ask the question, "How does God bless us?" Throughout the Psalms, we can find many ways God desires to bless us. The following list illustrates three key ways God blesses us, His righteous ones.
(1) Psalm 146:8 (KJV) states, "The Lord loveth the righteous..." While this seems the most obvious way that God blesses us, we need to be continually remind of this fundamental truth. It is easy to believe that God loves us when things go well. But, when things go wrong or when circumstances arise that we do not understand, we question and even doubt that God even cares for us. Carefully examining the verb loveth in this verse, we see the ending -eth. This indicates that God loves us now and will continue to love us. So, restating Psalm 146:8, "The Lord continually loves the righteous..."
(2) Psalm 11:5a (KJV) states, "The Lord trieth the righteous." Does this mean that the Lord tempts us? Absolutely not. As James 1:13b points us, "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." When a metal is tried, it is thoroughly examined to determine if there are any impurities. If any are found, the metal is heated intensely so that the impurities can be burned away. God thoroughly examines us to determine if there are any flaws in us. God allows tests and trials to come our way so that we can depend on Him to remove those flaws. It is then that we can say the words of Job, "...when [God] has tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10, NKJV).
(3) Psalm 37:25 is both a divine promise and a way that God blesses us. It states plainly that God will not forsake (abandon) the righteous. That is, God will not leave us. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God filled us with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 tells us that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. We are forever secure as God's adopted children for God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
In part 2 of this blog, I will state five specific blessings that God bestows upon us.
2nd Chronicles 20:15-18 and 20 (KJV) 15…And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. 16… To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17…Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. 18…And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. 20…And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
This is one of the most familiar and loved chapter’s in 2nd Chronicles because it explains how God grants victory to those who trust Him. Jehoshaphat is the Great, Great, Great Grandson of David and now King of Judah facing the greatest threat of his reign. A great multitude of the enemy (Moabites, Ammorites and others from Syria) were plotting to crush and destroy Judah. Facing these incredible odds, Verse 3…Jehoshaphat feared the outcome of this situation but in spite of his fear, he set himself to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. You know your faith is stronger than your fear when you realize I can’t handle this issue but the God I serve can so let me prepare myself to come before My God Who Never Fails.
Verses 4-12…Tells us about the character of Jehoshaphat, all Judah gathered together to ask help of the Lord and he stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord and prayed. In his prayer, he acknowledged God’s Sovereignty and Might. Verse 7…He Praises the God that He has never known defeat. Verses 8 & 9…Acknowledges how Solomon (his Great, Great Grandfather) petitioned God in the sanctuary he built for Him during difficult times during his reign. And in verses 10-12 prays as we would in this situation “I need your help”. His prayer was so powerful verse 13…And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives and their children.
Verse 14…The prophet Jahaziel at the leading of The Spirit of The Lord says the all the people in verse 15…Heaken ye, all Judah and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat. Thus saith the Lord unto you…”Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude against you; for the battle is not yours but God’s”.
For those of us in our worlds of work struggle, news of potential layoffs, cut backs because the economy has softened, lack of advancement potential even though you are dedicating 90 hours a week to your job, worrying about your children, 401k, your marriage, health concerns, potential late payments on the house, car or apartment, worry about the stock market, retirement, the job with the crab mentality in employees, political crisis or virus…whatever your Ammon, Moab or Seir is…”Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude of issues are; for this battle is not yours. It belongs to God”.
Of all the things we do to show God how much we want Him, nothing is as powerful as what Jehoshaphat did “TOTAL SUBMISSION” in verse 18…he bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. The Levites of the children Kohathites and Korhites stood and praised the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice Verse 19. Verse 20…Jehoshaphat said, hear me O Judah, BELIEVE in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established (stable and rooted in God); believe in his prophets, so shall you prosper.
Powerful Praise births victory. The Levites stood and praised the Lord with a loud voice on high. Some were appointed to sing to the Lord and Praise him in the Beauty of Holiness before the army saying “Praise The Lord for His Mercy Endureth Forever”. The Ammorites, Moabites and Seir destroyed themselves. Verse 24…And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold they were dead bodies everywhere. Not one of the enemies that came to destroy them escaped.
Verse 25..And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of those who came to destroy them, they found so much jewelry and abundance of riches…it took them 3 days to get all of it. And they never drew any weapon to fight. GOD DID IT.
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5, NIV).
Throughout human history, man has been unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions. We see this in the first human beings, Adam and Eve, who traded Paradise for a taste of forbidden fruit. Before their shamed exit from Eden, each placed the blame on another. “…‘The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree…’ ” (Genesis 3:12, NIV) were the excuse-laden words of Adam. Eve’s response to God was no better, “…‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’ ” (Genesis 3:13, NIV).
In Isaiah 53:4-5 we witness further scapegoating and blame-placing. The prophet states that “…we considered (Jesus) punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4, NIV, emphasis added), as if God the Father was at fault for all that Jesus went through on the cross and that we were virtually blameless. But, consider Isaiah’s words. “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53;4-5, NIV, emphasis added). Clearly it was our sin that led Jesus to the cross, and any role that the Heavenly Father played in Jesus’ suffering and death was born only out of necessity.
I find it difficult to think of God as a wrathful, vengeance-filled Father, who would take any sort of pleasure or satisfaction in the bloodied execution of his beloved Son. Rather, I imagine the Father’s thoughts wrenched and his heart broken. Surely it offended him to see the sin of the world embodied in the sacrifice of his Son, but it pained him even more to see all that Jesus had to experience to redeem mankind.
Truly, God’s love is great, and it’s aimed directly at our hearts. Jesus died momentarily that we would live eternally. Let’s honor the sacrifice he made.
As the holy spirit draws our heart and immerses into God's word, we'll trust Him to interpret this in our hearts. Now, I don't know much about banking, do bear with me.
There came a bank staff who came to work like every other day. He was an exceptional staff and all exceptional staff had special keys.
He got to work not knowing that would be the last. He got in, did a few transactions and while he was about leaving, he wanted to see the manager, but no one was allowed to.
He dropped His key, took a fresh box where he kept all his important stuff and was leaving when suddenly a lady came and questioned him of this;
" Hope you're not carrying anything in that box that'll be traceable?"
He looked in with boldness and said, "no."
While He was about leaving, another lady rushed at him saying, " where can i get that box?"
Ofcourse he showed it to her. However, strangely, most of the boxes are crumpled, apart from a few. She picked a box and then, was about leaving. When suddenly, she was stopped by that lady restricting her from going beyond the security door for trying to take with her something traceable.
Meanwhile, the exceptional staff has gone out successfully, he took with him his box, and went outside without the security man saying nothing.
While he went out, He saw the manager came from an entrance no one enters. And so, he said to himself, " so this is where you came from!"
He went on, shook the hand of the manager, but the manager said nothing. Then he got into His car and eventually drove off.
That was the end of the banking career for that exceptional staff. He was relieved off duty and congratulated by the manager. While the other lady, and staffs were left behind for extra working hours with no pay, until the manager gets back.
A time is coming where many would want to leave the bank, but won't be able to, because sometimes traceable was found in their possession. Will you be amongst those bank staff who would be found wanting for taking with them something traceable? you much search yourself very well even if you do find yourself to be a good employee.
Some will leave the bank with nothing traceable, but empty handed or crumpled boxes, a few will drop their keys and leave with fresh boxes of valuable documents. Which one will you be? Will you be locked in for overtime or will you be let out? will you be let out and go empty handed? Or will you be let out and shake the hand of the manager?
What is it that belong to the bank you're still holding unto? You know you can't take it with you out of the bank, you can't get through that door without being found out. And those who won't, how long will you continue wasting away your working hours in the bank for unnecessary and unprofitable activities? What is that you do that takes your working hours? What are your excuses to keep your self comfy while others are laboring? All workers are called to work in the bank with little break or no break. Know that you'll be paid according to your working hours and with that payment you'll live the rest of the future never to work anymore for a good pay.
The time is nigh, when the working hours will be over. That time is nigh, it's nigh. It is over already, but at least you can gather a little pay before the manager leaves the bank.
Let's ask the holy spirit to search us of any traceable, and of anything that has made us irrelevant and lazy staffs. Working an overtime in harsh working conditions with no pay when the manger is gone is something terrible you wouldn't want.