What sort of God looks to make His people happy? This is not a characteristic of the gods of men. The idols men have created, whether in Greek mythology or Norse mythology or even today’s gods who go by less religious sounding names, these gods expect to be made happy by their worshippers. There is only one God, the only true God, who loves to make His worshippers happy. God blesses out of His generous nature.
What sorts of things does God give that make His people happy? We’ve seen that He forgives them, that He makes them fruitful, that He gives them purpose, even if that purpose seems overwhelming, i.e., fill the earth and subdue it. His blessings can be quite big.
His blessings are also personal, especially as God meets with His people in worship. He does not merely send them a message from a distant land, He comes Himself. He does not pronounce forgiveness but remain unapproachable, as if He told a guard to let us through the gate at the border of His kingdom but only let us look across the moat at the high walls of His castle. He invites us in. And this is blessing.
“Blessed is the one you choose
and bring near, to dwell in your courts! ”
“For you make him most blessed forever;
you make him glad with the joy of your presence.”
“Blessed are those who dwell
in your house, ever singing your praise!”
Happy are the ones who are near Him in worship, and you can tell who they are because they are the ones who sing. The blessed are anti-silent.
It is only through Christ that we have this access. Through Him “we have both access in one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:18). “We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19). But we really are brought into God’s grace and God’s gladness.
“May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us ”
Blessing is His fatherly and favorable face upon us. Is this the blessing that we seek when we assemble to worship? Are we prepared to be made this kind of happy by His presence? If not, then we don’t yet understand His blessing nature.