Count your blessings

“What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits towards me?” (Psalm 116:12). The word translated render, shûwb (shoob) means “‘to return or go back, bring back.’ The basic meaning of this verb is movement back to the point of departure” (7725). The question the Psalmist was asking was answered in the next verse of his psalm. “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:13). What the Psalmist was saying was that he would enter into a relationship with the LORD because the LORD had blessed him.

It makes sense to have a relationship with someone that is good to you. God’s goodness is shown through his blessings. God’s first command to man was “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Although all of God’s creation is subject to him (Psalm 114:3-8), God does not violate the free will of man by causing man to serve him. Only those who accept God’s gift of salvation and call upon his name are expected to serve God.

Rendering something to someone can be thought of as an exchange, like exchanging presents at Christmastime. If you give me a gift, I will want to give you a gift in return. The problem with giving a gift to God is he already owns everything. There is nothing we can give him that he doesn’t already own, including our lives. What we are doing when we give our lives to God is really giving it back to him. We are returning to him his possession.

It says in Psalm 115:12-13, “The LORD hath been mindful of us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.” To fear God means to give him reverence, to render to him the respect he deserves (3372). The small and great are those who are of value or important to God (1419) and those who are of no account, those who are insignificant or the least in his estimation (6994).  What this is saying is that God treats everyone equal in regards to his blessing. Whether you are an Israelite, a priest in the house of God, or a janitor, God will bless you if you show him proper respect.

The word translated mindful, yâkar (yaw – kar´) means “to mark (so as to recognize)” (2142). Another way to interpret the word yakar is to remember someone or to think about her on a continual basis. The phrase “cup of salvation” is often thought to be related to the cup of the Passover meal referred to in Matthew 26:27. Jesus commanded his disciples, “this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The last supper was an opportunity for followers of Jesus to enter into a new covenant that would result in blessing for anyone that accepted him as Savior. I believe the blessing of God is such that it increases over time or as you mature in your relationship with him. You can know how close you are to the LORD  by counting your blessings.

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