God didn’t merely create the universe and then sit back to watch. From the very beginning, he sought relationship with us. God walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve, conversing in the cool of the day. When they chose to turn from him in disobedience, he provided a way of redemption. In that promised redemption, he sought a continuing relationship. And then, after promising, God provided for them, even though he had to put them out of the Garden of Eden for their own good.
He could have merely snuffed out the entire creation, including them. But he didn’t.
Why does God bless us like this?
There’s more to this than the easy answer: Because he loves us. God is love, after all. Love is why parents bless and give good gifts to their children. It’s something we love to do, and it’s also something God loves to do as our Father. But the Lord has larger purposes.
In Isaiah 40 and 41, we see God repeatedly reassuring his people, telling them over and over again of his plans to restore and to make everything right in his ultimate return. He tells them not to be afraid, nor to look anxiously about them.
My favorite admonition: “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 41:14 ESV).
We are all worms, God’s people, both Israel and his church. It isn’t merely Jacob. We sin intuitively. Our natural instinct is to turn first to our own resources and not to God, to despair and to harden our hearts when we can’t fix it ourselves. We degrade our lives and our culture. Our bodies will one day decay in the earth, worms’ food. Yet, God still declares how and why he will help us.
First, he will redeem us. When this promise in Isaiah was given, Christ, the Holy One of Israel, the Redeemer, had not yet arrived. But now he has, and he has shed his own blood to buy us back.
Yet, lest we think that God is only concerned with our souls, God also promises physical provision, for worms must live. Following his promised Redeemer, God lists all the ways he will help his people to prosper on earth and eventually in an eternal relationship with him in a new earth.
Having promised, God then details how he will help the afflicted and needy. These are the ones the world forgets, but God always has these in mind. He promises this group especially that he will not forsake them. He will answer them and provide for them.
So, why, other than love, does God do this?
Because he desires our friendship and our sonship as heirs – both men and women. He is a relational God, always in communion with himself as the Trinity, and now constantly seeking communion with us. He tells us exactly why he provides the blessings of food, water, provision, redemption, and eternal harmony with him:
“That they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it”
(Isaiah 41:20 NASB).
This is why he gives so abundantly to us: He wants us to know him. Like us, he yearns to be known. And yet, as worms, we blindly accept our blessings of home, water, food, family, and faith. We take for granted what most of the world lacks and desires. When we blindly act as if these are our due, we are unwise.
“See what I have done for you,” God says to us. “Recognize these gifts and promises. Don’t take them for granted. Consider in your heart that the Holy One of Israel has blessed you, and gain insight. Act, turn to me, live in obedience, and seek My face.”
This is why he blesses us. Will we honor God by seeing him and responding?