What a day may bring a day may take away. - Thomas Fuller
The Blessings from God
Blessing can harden
If the plan of God is for us to come out of denial, to
wake up to an awareness that something is deeply wrong with our theology
and thinking, to start listening to the J-person as the ONLY authorized
spokesman for truth, to come into a knowledge of ALL the pertinent
truth, to follow the reasonable instructions and to come into unity of
purpose, plan and values, and to deliver to us the package,
then the most unproductive thing that God could do would be to affirm us
in our insanity by "blessing us." By making our lives, which
according to the J-person we are
supposed to HATE, more comfortable and more acceptable he would be making
it almost impossible for us to challenge our deeply held convictions based on myth and
would be guilty of helping us to maintain the status quo. He would be encouraging "business
as usual", as in the ancient Hebrew sayings of "eating and drinking"
and "marrying and giving in marriage."
Mammon not from God
One noteworthy and illustrative incident happened to an
evangelist friend of mine. When visiting a major metropolitan area to
make a presentation, he was invited to dinner by a wealthy
Christian doctor, whose wealth was swollen by his making about a quarter
of a million dollars a year from his exorbitant surgical fees and his
real estate and stock market investments. Upon arriving at no less than
an imposing mansion, my friend was ushered into the parlor where sat not one
but TWO Steinway concert grand pianos. Knowing that the doctor had a new
Cadillac and a Beamer for his wife and noting the surrounding opulence
and the TWO grand pianos, my friend remarked that the doctor seemed to
be doing quite well for himself. Thereupon the doctor remarked, "The
Lord has blessed me greatly." What are we to say about such egregious
hypocrisy coming from a man that overcharges those injured or with maladies
that need surgery? This kind of hypocrisy is so common, that so many live with,
that we are used to it!
On the other side of the coin, I met a former schoolmate of years ago—I
will refer to her as "G"—at an afternoon picnic to which I was invited.
Through the mutual friends that had invited me I had already learned some
things about her. Her husband was a somewhat insensitive brute who was a
house building contractor and budding real estate
magnate on a small scale, and he made no secret even from her about
having multiple girl friends and a private nest where he could dally
with them. The woman and I chatted and I naturally canvassed her about
how she was doing. During the conversation I learned that she was
suffering significantly from arthritis and her hands were partially
crippled and curled up, and that she had other maladies that were
troubling. I also learned that "G" was having to do menial
labor—cleaning houses—because her husband was so pedal-to-the-metal
with his expanding construction business and investments, and couldn't/wouldn't provide her with any money
beyond food and utilities. I learned as well that she and her husband
were living in a large but only partially finished house, and she was
anxious about it ever being worked on and finished. All of this was duly
At some point I asked her if she was still a
Christian and still believed in the "second coming", and got an
enthusiastic positive response. When I pointed out the checkered past of
Christendom, the splintering of the apostles, the oppression of Papal
Rome and the great Protestation, the 2000[*] years of waiting, and the
multifarious denominations and sects and squabbling factions within, some of the egregious
disagreements over dogma, etc., her response was that was all due to
other Christians not having a personal relationship with the lord.
Asking her as to why the "Lord" had not come, "who was waiting for who?,
were we waiting for the Lord or was the Lord waiting for us?" her
unequivocal response was that he was waiting for us. To do what? I
asked. "To have a personal relationship." was her reply. I said, Well,
"G", you seem to have a boatload of problems in your life, and the "Lord"
doesn't seem to be blessing you or making these any easier. Her
rejoinder was, "Not true! The Lord is blessing me greatly in helping me
cope with my problems." Ah! The good ol' final default/defense for
Christendom. Cope and hope!
Hypocrisy of thanking for food
What is even more troubling is the situation, which has
happened probably millions of times in our world, where a man or a woman
labors—trading their time, energy and talent, taxing their health—6 days a
week for 12 to 16 hours a day under harsh or demeaning conditions in order to eke
out a living and put food on the table for the family; only to then have
herself/himself or some other family member or guest at the table "give
grace" and say, "Dear Lord, we thank thee for the food that thou hast
provided for us and ask thee to bless it for our bodies. Amen." What an
empty, demeaning ritual for ourselves AND God.
So, many people are willing to think that the good things
that happen to them come from God and the bad things from the Devil. God
gets all the credit for whatever goes right and we and/or the Devil get
all the blame. God even gets credit for our normal human resolve and our
ability to cope with significant problems and troubles, even in the face
of it being obvious that NOT coping would lead to greater trouble and
disaster. And so it goes!
Bottom line? It's not that God
doesn't want to bless us but he would be amiss and derelict if he did bless when the end
result would be to harden us in our sin. Do you think that God is getting
tired of living with such frustration?
[*] The 2000 years is the approximate value
within the existing standard chronology. The value would be 1300 years in
the revised chronology favored by this site. Still a time much too long.