136. Gospel promise of blessing.
We may attempt to put healing before blessing but the order in which these promises are fulfilled are in the same order in which the consequences were realised by Adam and Eve when they sinned. The Spirit of God left them (Genesis 2:16, 3:11) and the Lord God cursed them (3:14-19) and thereafter they became susceptible to sickness and diseases. Therefore, when man was redeemed, the order in which it was restored follows the same sequence : the gift of the Spirit, followed by blessing and healing. With the shedding of blood of Christ, we have received forgiveness but not the blessing. For us to receive the blessing, he had to become a curse for us by being lifted up on a tree. Otherwise, he could have just bled to death on the ground instead of being put on the cross. When the Israelites spoke against God, he sent venomous serpents among them and many died. When the people cried out, the Lord said to Moses, "Make a serpent and put it on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." (Numbers 21:4-9) Just as the serpent was the cause of death in the camp, so also sin was the cause of death in the world. 'The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law.' (1 Corinthians 15:56) That which caused death in the camp had to be lifted up for all to see and believe. Therefore Jesus said, "Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." (John 3:14) He who knew no sin bore our sins on the cross so that those who believe might receive his righteousness by faith. 'God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God.' (2 Corinthians 5:21) Not only did he bear our sins but became a curse for us by being hung on a cross. 'Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ...' (Galatians 3:13-14) What were the blessings given to Abraham? After the Lord made a covenant with Abram (Genesis 15:18). he experienced protection over his family ( Genesis 12:17), prosperity ( 13:2), power over enemies ( 14:20), prophetic revelation of the future ( 17:18-21), personal encounters with God (18:1-15), abiding presence of God (21:22) and peace with enemies (21:31-32). So did Issac, Jacob and his descendants the Israelites experience these blessings and they are now being experienced by us through Christ. 'Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.' (Ephesians 1:3) But the blessings are not just spiritual but material as well for God knows that we need both. "So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' ... your heavenly Father knows that you need them." (Matthew 6:32) God is mindful of our spiritual growth as well as our material needs. Therefore 'His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him...' (2 Peter 1:3) After Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, he sent word to his father Jacob through his brothers saying, "Come down to me; don't delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me - your children and grandchildren ... I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise, you and your household and all who belongs to you will become destitute." (Genesis 45:9-11) 'Goshen' is figurative of the 'kingdom of God' and there they were provided for. Likewise, once we enter the kingdom of God, Jesus will provide for us who are his own, whom he bought with his blood, just as Joseph provided for his own blood relatives. Therefore, come to Jesus and do not delay! "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Amen