True Blessedness

How would you describe “true blessedness”?  What is it about life that makes you truly happy and fulfilled?

The older I have become, the more my family rises in importance for me.  I can say that I am truly blessed to have the family I do. Even though this may be the case, is that where true blessedness is found?

I was struck this morning by something in Luke 11:27-28, which says,

“As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’”

As Jesus was teaching the crowds, a woman cries out how blessed it must have been to be in the family of Jesus.  This anonymous woman is commending the son of Mary.  What a fantastic place to have grown up! 

Do you see the response of Jesus?  He does not say, “yes, I was so fortunate!”  Instead, he says the real blessing is for anyone who hears and obeys God’s Word!  He does not deny that he may have had a great family, but he is saying, in comparison to hearing and following God’s Word, the blessing one receives through being relationally connected to God is not even in the same league! This type of blessing is available to all!

Notice how Darrell Bock summarizes this scene,

“The woman’s blessing of Jesus’ mother attempts to honor his family. It was not unusual to honor a mother in that culture by the accomplishments of her sons (Gen. 49:25; Prov. 23:24–25). But Jesus transforms the remark into another opportunity to declare where real blessing in life resides—in those who hear and obey God’s Word. Like the previous illustration, Jesus is focusing on the cruciality of receiving that Word. Richness and fullness of life are not a matter of biological or social origin, but relating well to the Lord of the universe (cf. 8:19–21).”[1]

Father, I am so thankful for my family and friends.  You have truly blessed me.  But, in comparison to knowing you and being in your family through faith in Christ alone who died for my sin, it doesn’t even compare!  Help me enjoy the friends and family you have given me but keep me laser-focused on where true blessing is found. It is in hearing and obeying your Word which allows me to enjoy my relationship with you.

Following Jesus with you,




[1] Darrell L. Bock, Luke, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 324.

Abuse of Power

The word “power” can be defined as the authority, or influence over others.” In the encounter of David and Bathsheba, we see “power” in action.

As I was reading through this familiar story today in my reading plan, I was impressed by the use of the word “sent.” This word is showing the “power” of an individual with authority over others.

At first, in 2 Sam. 11:3, David does the “sending.”  He, in his kingly authority, “sent” and inquired about Bathsheba after noticing her.  He learned some essential information about her, as summarized by Robert Bergren,

“The messenger reported that the woman was “Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite”; thus, she was the daughter of one of David’s best fighters (cf. 23:34), the granddaughter of his most trusted counselor (cf. 16:23; 23:34), and the wife of one of his inner circle of honored soldiers (cf. 23:39). Since David was properly informed of this latter fact, for him to pursue Bathsheba further was already to commit adultery with her in his heart (cf. Matt 5:28).[1]

This vital information did not stop David from abusing his power.  He then “sent” messengers to “take” Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11:4). To this point, David is the one with the power to “send.” 

Things take a dramatic turn in verse 5 with our first plot twist by identifying another person with power when it says,

“And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, ‘I am pregnant.’”

Here we learn that “David is not the only character who ‘sends’ in this episode, for Bathsheba sends a succinct message (only two words in Hebrew) that changes everything: ‘I am pregnant.” David exercised power in chapter 10 and thus far in chapter 11 by ‘sending.’ But when Bathsheba ‘sends,’ David must deal with a different kind of power. The power of wronged Bathsheba, the power of David’s own sin.”[2]

This familiar account continues through the end of chapter 11 with David abusing his authority to “send” others to help him cover up his sin resulting in the eventual death of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband.  

Just when David thought he had things under control and no one would find out about his sin, the ultimate plot twist is found in 2 Sam. 12:1 which says, 

“And the Lord sent Nathan to David.”

It is now God who sends! This simple statement shows who is ultimately in charge! David did not get away with his abuse of power!

Although this tragic story has far-reaching implications for David and his kingdom (2 Sam. 12:10-12), David owns his sin and confesses it to God. Unfortunately, David forgot that God is ultimately the one to whom he was accountable.  God alone is sovereign.  Any power David had was to be used in harmony with the character of God. He was just a steward of the power God had given him.

Father, you, and you alone are the exalted King.  Any “power” we have (work, family, ministry, etc.) is given from you and should be exercised in harmony with your character and under your leadership.  David abused his position of power, which resulted in grievous sin.  Even with the facts before him, he could not be persuaded from his self-destructive path.  Help us to see the deception and power of sin. Help us to be alert and not turn a blind eye to behavior that can lead us astray or that is inappropriate.  Help us to always remember that you are the One to whom we are accountable, and we are only stewards of all that you have given us.

Following Jesus with you,



[1] Robert D. Bergen, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 7, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 364.

[2] Bill T. Arnold, 1 & 2 Samuel, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003), 528.