The Unintended Consequences of Divine Blessing
Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold,
because the LORD blessed him…[but] the Philistines envied him.
Genesis 26:12, 14
Go Deep: We all want to live in the zone of God’s blessings, but are we willing to pay the price for those blessings? You see, sometimes—not always, but sometimes—those blessings bring unexpected and undesired consequences into our lives. Sometimes our blessings will arouse the envy of those who are not so blessed. Sometimes their envy will morph into open conflict with us. And sometimes, our success creates so much pain and discomfort for the non-blessed that it fundamentally changes the relationship.
That is not always the case, but sometimes it is, and we need to be ready for those unintended consequences if we desire to live under Divine blessing. It just might be that God’s favor upon your faithfulness will painfully expose a tender area in another’s life, and there will be a hurtful reaction toward you. Some people won’t be able to handle your success, and will do everything they can to pull you down to their level of dissatisfaction. For those reasons, it could be that God’s favor will force you to leave your comfort zone. But fear not, for if that’s the case, that forced move will always be to a larger zone where greater blessing can be received.
That’s what happened to Isaac here in Genesis 26:12-32. God’s hand of blessing was upon Isaac, and he began to prosper in ways that made others envious—and not in a complimentary way. Isaac’s harvest that year was a hundredfold, and he “became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.” (Genesis 26:13) That didn’t sit well with the locals, whose lack of success was exacerbated by Isaac’s uncommon success. As a result, Isaac was despised, and ultimately forced to leave the very land that had produced his blessing. But God was with Isaac, and continued to favor him exponentially until Isaac had far outgrown the small minds and petite faith of those who were envious of him. God had a better place of greater blessing for Isaac, but it took those unintended consequences of blessing to get him there.
I suppose that is the kind of problem you want to have if you’re going to have a problem. Now I am in no way promoting arrogance toward those who are not as blessed as you. If at all possible, you are called to leverage your blessings to bless others. But sometimes—not always, but once in a while—your blessings may produce some unintended consequences.
If that’s the case, keep your eye on God—that’s what Isaac did. (Genesis 26:25) What you suspect are unintended consequences might just be intentional maneuvers on God’s part to make you even more blessable.
Just Saying… Eric Hoffer said, “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” Is something forcing you out of your comfort zone? Take a second look at it—it may be a blessing in disguise, forcing you from the comfort zone to the blessing zone.