Blessings from Yahweh
(H) A Song of Ascents. (1) Blessed (are) all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ways. (2) You will eat the produce of your hands. (You will be) blessed, and (it will be) well with you. (3) Your wife (will be) like a fruitful vine within your house. Your children (will be) like olive shoots round about your table. (4) Behold, thus shall the man who fears Yahweh be blessed. (5) May Yahweh bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! (6) May you (live to) see your children’s children! Peace (be) upon Israel!
The four repetitions of “blessed” (vss. 1, 2, 4 & 5) indicate that this term functions as the key to the psalm. “Children (sons)” occurs three times (vss. 3 & 6) while “fear(s) Yahweh” is also repeated (vss. 1 & 4). In essence, God promises to bless those who fear him with fruitfulness, both materially as well as with physical offspring.
I. A portrayal of Yahweh’s blessings for all who fear and follow him (1-4)
II. A prayer for Yahweh’s blessings on his covenant people (5 & 6)
Those who fear and follow Yahweh will experience his abundant blessing.
Genesis 3 contains the account of that tragic moment when Adam and Eve disobeyed their creator. They did this by succumbing to the tempter and willfully eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In their rebellion, they deliberately turned their backs on God and placed themselves under his wrath. As a result, God pronounced several curses: first on the serpent, next on Eve, then on Adam, and finally on the entire creation. Ever since that fateful moment, all humanity has struggled with the consequences of sin, our lives filled with pain, frustration, and alienation. What a sad contrast to the beauty and blessing of living in fellowship with God!
The failure of Adam and Eve came as no surprise to our sovereign God. From eternity past, it had been God’s plan to send forth his Son, “born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons” (Gal. 4:4 & 5). Paul provided more information about this in his epistle to the Romans: “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).
While we who are in Christ can never fully return to Eden before entering our heavenly home, we can now enjoy many of the blessings of paradise when we obey God and submit ourselves to his will. Paul describes how we can choose to live in the following terms: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:1-4).