The Israel of God: A Blessed Community

The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 128:5-6

Psalm 128 is one of the 15 Songs of Ascent in the Psalter (Psalms 120-134). And Psalm 128, specifically, is a song of God’s beautiful covenant blessings upon his people. Verses 1-4 sing of how those blessings are seen in the lives of individuals and families, and vv.5-6 (cited above) prayerfully sing of God’s covenant blessings upon his people, Israel.

Y’all Then

This prayer at the end of Psalm 128 opens our eyes to see that blessedness is not merely individualistic, or even just for the family. Still, true blessing is always related to the greater well-being of God’s people. The covenant blessings in Deuteronomy 28, the blessings of which this psalm is singing, are corporate in nature.

See, we tend to read every you we come across as referring to just us, individually. This reading is undoubtedly culturally conditioned in us but is also an inherent challenge with the English language in general. If we are to read this rightly, we need to refocus our eyes and see that these are actually y’alls. God’s covenant is made with his people.

What this means is, as HB Charles Jr. has said, “[You, Christian], are not blessed to be prosperous, but generous.” If you, personally, have a blessed life, it is for the distinct purpose of being a blessing to others. And if you’re in Christ, then you have every spiritual blessing of heaven (Ephesians 1:3). Those blessings are meant to channel through you to others. They’re meant to be used for the peace and prosperity of those around you. That you may see your “children’s children.”

Y’all Now

The blessed righteousness imputed to us in Christ is not like a perfectly curated Instagram account of our lives (one we must keep up in an attempt to convince people we’re blessed). No, our blessedness is as sure as the tomb is empty, so we can let people see the reality of who we are because that reality is tied to Christ himself. The New Testament letter to the Galatians is about clinging to the true gospel that we are justified by faith in Christ and not by making our lives look good on the outside. Paul closes his letter by saying:

[F]ar be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world…And as for all who walk by this rule peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Galatians 6:14, 16, emphasis mine

Friends, that’s us. Through Christ, we are those who fear God and walk in his ways (vv.1, 4). In Christ, we are the Israel of God, and therefore all of the blessings of the covenant are ours in him.

It may not feel that way now, but the truest reality is that those blessings are yours right now, and one day we will fully realize those blessings in the physical presence of our Savior.

Thanks be to God through our Lord, Jesus Christ!