Intro: I love that God has promised to pour blessings into the lives of his obedient children. Whatever God wants to pour into my life, I want it because God is so very good. In our devotion yesterday, we noticed the momentary suffering that comes when we humble ourselves to the righteous rule of God; we are compensated for our obedience with blessings. It’s like making a great exchange: experiencing suffering by letting go of something we have held onto in order to receive something better from God. However, if people are unwilling to humble themselves, then God does the humbling which brings greater suffering and even sorrow. It is much better to cooperate with the righteous work of God in our lives.
In our passage today, Jesus speaks to the religious leaders who have become prosperous in earthly riches at the cost of genuine eternal life. The spiritually oppressed and poor were being neglected while the prosperous enjoyed all their finery and proclaimed it was God’s favor. So, Jesus took issue with this behavior and turned the tables by promising blessings for the spiritually poor [humble] and sorrow for the rich and powerful. Mary sang a prophetic song about this corrective character of Jesus even before he was born, “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty” (Luke 1:53).
Please keep in mind there were many false prophets in the Old Testament whose message continued to resonate with people in the New Testament and still does, today. The message predicted by this false gospel was prosperity of riches and victory in earthly war; a message the people wanted to hear. Even though people wanted to believe God would bring prosperity that would fulfill self, it did not result in truth. If we will face our condition apart from God—poverty in spirit—then spiritual blessings will be our reward. If we will face our commission, we will help to take care of one another knowing there is a River that flows into our lives and will continue to flow as we obey.
Luke 6:24-26 NLT Sorrows Foretold
“What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now.
What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now, for a time of awful hunger awaits you.What sorrow awaits you who laugh now, for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.
What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the blessings you bring into the lives of your humble children. Continue to teach us your ways and help us learn how to live each day bearing the fruit of your righteous Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.