“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV)
The language used in our verse to describe how the LORD keeps watch over all the earth. It helps us to understand two of God attributes. One, he knows everything about all the earth and His creation on the earth – Omniscience. Also, He is present everywhere on the earth and in our lives. There is nowhere He is not – Omnipresence. The Hebrew for “run to and fro” means to rove about or roam. God does not have to move from one place to another to know what we, His creation is doing. But the language here is for our benefit to help us understand the way we might speak of God keeping His eye on us. He does and that’s our promise. Those He finds blameless toward Him receive strong support. In context, God had not found Judah’s King Asa of Judah blameless. Asa used temple treasures to coax Ben-Hadad the king of Aram-Damascus to attack Israel who was warring against Judah. Instead of trusting God he put his trust in a foreign power. The consequence for Judah and Asa was ongoing wars. If we trust God and His promises He gives us strength to do so.
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” – Ephesians 1:4 (NASB)
One blessing which we’ve received – is defined in our verse. It is God’s choosing of us by Himself for Himself. And all that God does for us is in His love. Imagine being called to play on a community softball team. When you show up you discover that you don’t have to qualify to make any of the teams. There are no try-outs. In fact you’re already accepted as qualified. A long time ago, it became a done deal the same for every member of the team. You’re asked to do your very best in every game for the coach and teammates. But this is not the way it works in community sports is it? Rather it depends on who you know and who knows you. It depends on how well others have seen your play. Can you catch? Can you throw? Can you hit? We might see our lives as Christian the same way. Strive to do good enough to qualify, hope we’re accepted, and we must live as good Christians. But God made His choice of us to be holy and blameless before Him way back before he made the world before we existed too.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” – Ephesians 1:3-4 (ESV)
Whenever we attend a memorial service at a funeral, one part is almost always included is a eulogy. It may be given by a minister, a family member, or friend. The eulogy’s purpose is to speak well and to bless the one being memorialized. The first word in our verses today is “Blessed” and it is derived from the same Greek word we get “eulogy.” It means to praise or commend. Every human has a supreme duty to bless God by thought, word and deed. Not all do. As faith believers we have already been fully blessed in Christ. When the Apostle Paul writes “blessed be” he is using the meaning to give praise to God. When the Apostle writes “has blessed” he is saying that all who are in Christ have already received from Him every spiritual blessing possible. God has already given believers total blessings. And, this He did when God chose us to be in Christ before the world was made by Him. This promise of being holy and blameless before God became ours before the worlds foundations were set. It was God’s choice to promise this for His creatures and its for His praise and glory.
“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard” – Colossians 1:21-23 (NASB)
Being on the ‘outs’ of Christian fellowship was our circumstance before we received faith that made it possible to believe that Jesus, the Son of God is our Savior. We are converted from being ‘out’ to being ‘in’ God’s family when we are born of God – a work that God does for us according to his will and promise. It is a real transformation of our lives because before, or as our verse says, formerly we were alienated and had a hostile attitude. We were engaged in what is evil. Yet even in that state, doing nothing ourselves God reconciled us. When did this reconciliation happen? It happened on the cross, at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That is when the work of reconciling our sinful selves with our perfect God happened. Here is our promise: He did this so we can appear before Him holy and blameless (forgiven) and beyond reproach. We are to continue in the faith firmly founded and unwavering, not moved away from the hope of the gospel.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” – Jude 24–25 (ESV)
How is it that we’ve received this promise from God? After all, we possess very little perfection to keep us from stumbling⸺actually no perfection or ability of our own. But, in this one-chapter book of Jude, we are promised that “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling…does so in order to present us blameless to God.” Wow! If that is not a promise that causes our hearts to leap for joy, it should. The ‘Him’ is God the Holy Spirit. After saving us by grace through faith⸺a bundled gift from God⸺we are promised that we will stand before the one and only God who chose to save us and we will do that through what the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. It is a bit mind blowing if we mediate on this promise. God is One and he is able to keep us from stumbling. God’s Holy Spirit presents us blameless in the glorious presence of God who saved us according to His will. All this is accomplished because God the Son provided a way through His obedience to death on a cross and God raised Him up from the tomb.