The twin beatitudes of 1:3 remind us that God designates two essential roles for his Word in our lives. First, it’s to be our primary spiritual tutor. Second, it’s to be actualized in our thinking and behavior.
Psalm 91 offered energizing hope to Israelites faithful to Moses. Reflecting the blessings of Deuteronomy 28:1-14, the Psalm promised exemption for the obedient from life-ravages experienced by unbelievers. Satan even used verses 9-12 in a vain effort to have Jesus throw himself from the temple’s pinnacle: NOTHING would harm him. Jesus exploded that lie by tying his personal safety to his obedience to God’s will. He therefore joined blessing to faithfulness; a benefit appropriate to Hebrews who remained obedient to Moses.
The danger to Bible exegesis—understanding the meaning of the Biblical context—exists when we automatically relate the passage to Christians; as if we don’t face the same disappointments, grief and losses characteristic of all mortals. Too many personal experiences defy that expectation. One robust promise does exist for believers denied the unsaved, illustrated by Joshua and Caleb. They accompanied faithless Israel when God sentenced the nation to a 40-year wilderness sojourn.
At the end of those years, however, Joshua had only begun his leadership role. Caleb, likewise, soon after the Conquest, rose to the challenge of capturing his own territory. Both of them at the time approximately 80 years of age!
Who said seniors can’t accept and discharge difficult challenges? Neither man considered his age a reason to fear the role he assumed! Indeed, at the time the men faithless to God decayed in desert graves, the grand old men of faith readied themselves to accept difficult SERVICE.
In essence, Joshua and Caleb endured those years in HOPE, knowing they would survive them; the rest endured in DREAD, knowing they wouldn’t.
That relates to the Beatitude in Revelation 14:13. End Part II