THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH WINNING ALL (ECWA)
5007 SOUTHSIDE DRIVE
LOUISVILLE, KY 40214
THEME: RECEIVING AND SHARING THE BLESSINGS OF THE LORD
TOPIC: The Lord Who Blesses
TEXT: Numbers 6: 22-27
Rev. (Dr.) Stephen K. Awoniyi
What does the phrase “The Lord Who Blesses” stands for? In reference to the man Warren W. Wiersbe, in his book titled “BLESS YOU” this could be narrated or viewed thus:
After surveying the biblical record, I have come to the conclusion that a blessing is an act of God that brings Him glory by accomplishing His will and helping His people grow and do His will. You can’t buy blessing or manufacture them; they can come only from the Lord. You can’t easily explain blessings – how they happen, when they happen, to whom they happen. When they occur, the best thing to do is to accept them and give thanks to God.
God’s blessings are gracious gifts from heaven that meet our needs in ways that build us up and help us glorify the Lord. “Bless the Lord!” is the equivalent of “Praise the Lord!” and we ought to use those words more often (Page 8).
Brethren, if the above narrated passage could be removed from our vocabulary what do you think would happen to our prayer life, our congregational worship, and our preaching? In today’s sermon we will focus on the following topics:
1. The Prayer of Jacob
Who was the man Jacob, the person whose name was later changed to Israel? The Bible explained it thus:
24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
27 So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” 28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; [a] for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: [b] “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 31 Just as he crossed over penuel [c] the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank (Genesis 32:24-32 (NKJV).
Brethren, what a great and precious miracle for the Scripture says, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man then asked him, “What is your name?” Jacob then said to him, I am “Jacob.” Then he said to Jacob: “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; because you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
The Scripture continues saying, “So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Each one of us must learn how to faithfully and honestly cling to our Almighty God. Be assured that it was the man Jacob who first spoke the words that says, “I will not let you go, O Lord, unless you bless me.” This incident took place after Jacob had looked back of his past and rated himself. What he saw did not please him at all.
At this time Jacob was on his way back to his father's house where he had fled some years before because he had caused great and many troubles there. First he had tricked his brother Esau out of the birthright of the oldest son. Then he deceived his father into pronouncing the blessing of the birthright upon him instead on his older brother Esau. Even though Jacob had sinned against his brother, his father, and against the Almighty God, still, the Lord loved Jacob and allowed him to prosper. Dearly beloved, have you seen the Lord God face to face or are you still struggling for His preservation?
2. The Prayer of Apostle Paul
The Man Apostle Paul carefully prayed for his divine healing and the Lord delivered him from his sorrows and pains. This means you and I may be facing some difficulties, sorrows, perplexities, calamities, and pains. But, if we then go into the Lord in prayer and fasting, the Lord is there for us and He will see us through as he saw the Apostle Paul through in his sorrows and pains. That is why the Scripture says:
The Vision of Paradise
1 It is doubtless[a] not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 4 How he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.
The Thorn in the Flesh
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (NKJV).
The above narrated story of the man Apostle Paul reminds me the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is recorded thus:
The Family of Adam
1 This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. 3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. 5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died (Genesis 5:1-5 (NKJV).
Brethren, the above story also reminds me about the death of Abraham. This is also indicated thus:
Abraham’s Death and Burial
7 This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. 9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth. There Abraham was buried, and Sarah his wife. 11 And it came to pass, after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac. And Isaac dwelt at Beer Lahai Roi (Genesis 25:7-11 (NKJV).
Dearly beloved, considering who we are and what we do is a remarkable thing that the Almighty God wants to bless us. We need to be united to our Lord Jesus Christ by faith and share His life through which we can be saved. Because of this the Scripture says:
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
Qualities Needed in Trials
19 So then, [a] my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Doers—Not Hearers Only
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1: 17-21 (NKJV).
Be assured that if we all pray in the name of Jesus Christ and for the glory of Jesus Christ, the Lord’s answer will surely be a blessing to us.