As Your Days – 3

Let me ask you today, “Don’t you want to be an Asher—a child of blessing?” Yes, we all want to be Ashers—to be particularly favored by the Lord, of all the children of God. But God blessed the people of Israel even though they haven’t done anything to deserve those blessings.

Did Lot deserve the blessing of God? No, Lot disobeyed God many times. He did not like to go with his uncle Abraham in a journey of faith. He looked to Sodom by sight, instead of going with Abraham by faith. In Sodom, he compromised his faith, offering his daughters to the homosexuals of the town, just so that he can save the two angels.

What did Asher do to be a child of blessing? I cannot think of any significant thing that Asher did to earn the blessing. But throughout the OT, we see that God blesses those who obey his will. Moses said that the LORD shows “mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Ex. 20:6, NKJV). The word, “mercy,” or “unfailing love” here is a strong word, from the Hebrew, hesed. “It speaks of a favor given to someone who does not have a right to that favor by someone who does not have to give that favor.”[1]

We see this hesed of God in action at Mt. Sinai. While God was giving the 10 Commandments to Moses at Mt. Sinai, the people below decided to hold a “fiesta” (festival). It is a festival of Yahweh, Aaron said. Like most fiestas in the Philippines today, mixing Christian and pagan symbols of idolatry, the Israelite fiesta was syncretist (mixed). The one pagan symbol that Aaron approved was the golden calf, which mirrored the pagan practices of their neighbors.

While Moses met with God, they committed idolatry. God was sorely offended by their actions. These people did not really deserve God’s favor. God also did not have to give that favor. But because of hesed, his unfailing love, his mercy, he forgave them and gave them a second chance. This mercy or unfailing love is for those who love him and obey him, but also those who do not deserve his love.

Thus, blessings may be received two ways—by the favor of God that we don’t deserve, that God is not obliged to give; but also by obedience to the will of God for our lives. And so the right attitude in worshiping God is to obey God, not to get his blessings, as if we are paying God to bless us, but to obey God because God has called us to be related to him, and because he has called us to love and serve him.

Blessings therefore are the benefits of a covenantal relationship with God. We obey him to show him that we are committed to loving him and trusting him in everything. Our obedience to his commands is therefore our response to the unfailing love or mercy that he shows us. If you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are already blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. But if you obey God in the days to come, then God will bless you more with his unfailing love.


[1] T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, eds., Dictionary of the OT Pentateuch (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2003), 850.

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