I wrestle every day with a certain tension as I watch the evening news from the comfort of my recliner. Sitting here, I live with so much blessing in this country of plenty while witnessing the unimaginable horrors of war and poverty that many live with. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why am I so blessed when many in the world have so little?” That question leads to, “So how do I as a Christ-follower live the blessed life in such a troubled and messy world?”
Today’s reading in Deuteronomy is written to prepare God’s chosen people, Israel, for the day when they will grow rich and prosperous. God reminds them that they are his people, set high above all the nations (26:18). But Israel forgot why God had chosen them. They thought they were blessed because of something inherently special in themselves. God had reminded them (Deut 7:7,8) that he chose them, not because they were bigger or better than other nations, but just because he loved them.
Moses reminds Israel in Deut 28:10 that God’s purpose in blessing them was so that all the peoples on earth would turn and look at God.
As a result, God would be exalted among the nations (Psalm 46:10).
So, don’t turn away from the messiness you see in the world out there today. Don’t ignore that twinge of guilt as you admit how blessed you are in this country. Stop and thank God that because you’re a person of faith, therefore a child of Abraham (Galatians 3:7,8) as his heir, you are abundantly blessed. He didn’t choose to bless you because you’re so special, but just because he loves you. But don’t forget that being blessed comes with responsibility.
Don Richardson, my missionary hero, used the language of “top line/bottom line” to talk about God’s promises to Abraham, to Israel, and to all who are true children of Abraham. To Abraham, God said, “I am going to bless you . . . and through you, all peoples on earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3) God’s promise of blessing is the “top line.” The “bottom line” is the responsibility to be a blessing to others. So that’s why you are so blessed! That’s how to live in a messy world. Think: how can I bring blessing to the nations today?
Congregant; member of Foothills Global Impact Team; retired International Worker; cares a lot about people who have never heard of Jesus