Day 94

No Blessing Goes Uncontested

Wisdom Psalm 41:1-6
New Testament Luke 10:1–23
Old Testament Deuteronomy 1:3–31


‘No blessing goes uncontested’ is one of Bishop Sandy Millar’s many original aphorisms, with which he would encourage us all. During his time as vicar of HTB he taught us not to be discouraged by the difficulties we faced because, as he liked to reassure us, ‘No blessing goes uncontested.’

God will bless you in amazing and wonderful ways. In the passages for today we read about the promise, the extent and the privilege of God’s blessing.

However, it was true of the people of God in the Old Testament and of the disciples of Jesus, and it will also be true in your life that ‘No blessing goes uncontested.’


Psalm 41:1-6

1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
   the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The LORD protects and preserves them—
   they are counted among the blessed in the land—
   he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed
   and restores them from their bed of illness.

4 I said, “Have mercy on me, LORD;
   heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies say of me in malice,
   ‘When will he die and his name perish?’
6 When one of them comes to see me,
   he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
   then he goes out and spreads it around.


Blessings contested by trouble, sickness and slander

1. Blessings on those who care for the poor

Blessings follow those ‘who have regard for the weak’ (v.1) – those who care, for example, about the poor, the hungry, the sick, the addicts and those in prison. This should be a characteristic of those who follow the Lord. If you care for the poor, God promises to deliver you in times of trouble, to protect you, to preserve your life and to bless you (v.2). He promises to sustain you and to heal you (v.3). But these blessings from God do not go uncontested.

2. Contested by trouble, sickness and slander

There may be ‘times of trouble’ (v.1b). There may be ‘foes’ (v.2b). There may be periods of ‘illness’ (v.3). There may be enemies: ‘they speak falsely, while their hearts gather slander; then they go out and spread it abroad’ (v.6).

Being aware that there are enemies around should put you on guard. There are some, for example, who come to ‘gather slander’. They are on a fishing expedition to find gossip against you so that they can go out and ‘spread it abroad’. But God promises his blessing and that he will ‘not surrender’ you (v.2b).

One of the encouraging things about the psalm is that this blessing of protection does not seem to be dependent on you always getting it right. David is very aware of his own sin, crying out to God for mercy and healing where he has fallen short (v.4).


Lord, thank you for all the blessings you have poured out on me. Thank you for your promise to deliver me in times of trouble, sickness and slander.
New Testament

Luke 10:1–23

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

8 ‘When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal those there who are ill and tell them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’

18 He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’

23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.’


Blessings contested by Satan and demonic powers

1. Blessings of following Jesus

As a follower of Jesus, you are more blessed than any human being in history who lived before Jesus. Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it’ (10:23–24).

The blessings are so great that they far outweigh any apparent cost. At times, you may have to say farewell to comfort (9:58), compromise (v.60) and even company (vv.61–62).

Like the ‘seventy-two’, you have the great blessing of being sent out by Jesus into a huge harvest (10:2). You have the privilege of healing the sick and of telling people, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep’ (v.9, MSG).

It is not just the Twelve who were sent out to heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom. The seventy-two went out and did exactly that. They returned ‘with joy’ (v.17). Jesus is ‘full of joy through the Holy Spirit’ (v.21) as he sees the wonderful blessings that come to his disciples.

2. Contested by Satan and demonic powers

Jesus sends us out as ‘lambs among wolves’ (v.3). But our ultimate enemy in the New Testament is spiritual (‘our struggle is not against flesh and blood’, Ephesians 6:12). When ‘the seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” [Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy…”’ (Luke 10:17–19). The enemy is Satan and his demons.

It is remarkable that, almost as an aside, Jesus says he was there at the moment, before the creation of the world, when Satan fell.

Again, you are promised victory. The demons have to submit to the name of Jesus (vv.17,20). But Jesus says there is an even greater blessing and that is that ‘your names are written in heaven’ (v.20).


Lord Jesus, thank you that my name is written in heaven. Help me not to be put off by attacks, because you have given me ‘authority… to overcome all the power of the enemy’ (v.19).
Old Testament

Deuteronomy 1:3–31

3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the LORD had commanded him concerning them.

6 The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. ...8 See, I have given you this land . Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”

9 At that time I said to you, '...10 The LORD your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11 May the LORD, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself?

15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you.

20 Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. 21 See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it... Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”


Blessings contested by problems, burdens and disputes

1. Blessings in the wilderness years

Are you going through hard times at the moment? Do you feel like you are in a wilderness period of your life?

Sometimes there seems to be a long delay between the promise of God and the fulfilment of that promise. What do we do while we are waiting for God to do what he has promised to do?

During these times, your faith is tested. Learn to trust God, seek his presence and worship him when life is hard.

Deuteronomy is one of the longest sermons ever preached. It is certainly the longest sermon in the Bible and the last preached by Moses.

In the book of Deuteronomy we read of Moses’ parting instructions to the people. Here Moses reiterates the law God has given the people, retransmitting God’s ways for a new generation. A key theme is ‘the land’, which is perhaps paralleled in the New Testament by the blessings of the ‘kingdom of God’, which come through being in Christ and living under God’s rule and reign.

The Bible is the story of God’s people, God’s blessing and God’s rule. You experience God’s blessing when you are living under God’s rule. At the start of Deuteronomy, we are reminded about God’s blessings to his people in the past, present and future.

First, regarding the past, Moses said, ‘The Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son… The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything’ (1:31; 2:7).

Second, concerning the present, Moses reminds them of the ways in which God has been faithful to his promises to Abraham: ‘The Lord your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as many as the stars in the sky’ (1:10). Four times in the opening chapter we discover that God is giving his people the land of Canaan (vv.8,20,21,25). It is a gift of undeserved grace to God’s people – much as it is pure grace that you and I can have a relationship with God through Jesus.

Third, in relation to the future, Moses spoke of all the blessings God will give to his people. He prayed, ‘May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!’ (v.11). You will increasingly experience God’s blessing as you continue to live under God’s rule.

2. Contested by problems, burdens and disputes

Yet alongside all these blessings Moses also highlights a series of problems, burdens and disputes (v.12). God said, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain… See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land’ (vv.6–8). It was only eleven days’ journey, but it had taken them forty years! They had developed a wilderness mentality and allowed themselves to be overcome by fear and discouragement (v.21), grumbling (v.27), loss of heart (v.28) and opposition (v.26 onwards).

Now the time had come to ‘get moving’ (v.7, MSG). Yet Moses did not promise that they would be free of problems. In fact, Moses talked about ‘your enemies’ (v.42). They were going to have many battles ahead and much opposition. The key is to follow the Lord wholeheartedly (v.36b).

We also need leadership and organisation. Moses told them to choose ‘wise, understanding and respected’ people (v.13) and then to delegate. Choosing the right people is the key to delegation and will avoid the need to micromanage. As General George Patton said, ‘Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.’ Delegation involves putting others in charge but being willing to take ultimate responsibility (vv.9–18).

Never allow opposition to put you off. Moses said, ‘Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you’ (vv.29–30).


Lord, help me not to be put off by problems, burdens and disputes, fear, discouragement or opposition, but to follow you wholeheartedly and to enjoy your blessings to the full.

Pippa adds

In Luke 10:19 it says,

‘I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.’

It is encouraging that we have authority over ‘all the power of the enemy’, but I’m not going to try trampling on snakes and scorpions to put that bit to the test.

Verse of the Day

Deuteronomy 1:30

‘The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you…’

Thought for the Day

When life is hard:
Learn to trust God,
seek his presence
and worship him.



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The Bible with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel (commentary formerly known as Bible in One Year) ©Alpha International 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Compilation of daily Bible readings © Hodder & Stoughton Limited 1988. Published by Hodder & Stoughton Limited as the Bible in One Year.

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version Anglicised, Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 Biblica, formerly International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, an Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. ‘NIV’ is a registered trademark of Biblica. UK trademark number 1448790.

Scripture quotations marked (AMP) taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from The Message, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers.

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