William R. Osborne, Divine Blessing and the Fullness of Life in the Presence of God (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2020), 159 pp.
The notion of “blessing” is familiar to most people. It has a broad range of meaning that ranges from the theological to the pragmatic. Yet, if we are honest, most have failed to probe deeply into the real meaning of what biblical blessing entails. William R. Osborne unpacks the true purpose of blessing in his excellent volume, Divine Blessing and the Fullness of Life in the Presence of God. Osborne’s volume is the most recent offering in Crossway’s Short Studies in Biblical Theology, a series that aims to capture the attention of untrained laymen.
Dr. Osborne explains the goal of his volume at the outset: “The purpose of this book is to establish a biblical-theological foundation of blessing by presenting a concise biblical theology that leans into how we view ourselves as living blessed lives as citizens of God’s kingdom.”
Two aspects of God’s benevolence are explored by way of introduction: “Divine blessing in the Bible is always physical and spiritual because it is fixed upon what the title of the book promises, namely, the reality of the fullness of life in the presence of God.” This critical principle underscores the importance of the blessing and helps readers view the topic through a decisively biblical lens.
The book shows readers how God’s blessing unfolds redemptive history for all the families of the earth – something that is intended to be material, spiritual, and relational. Experiencing such blessings comes as a direct result of living under the terms of the covenant. In the end, as Osbourne adds, “God’s people would come to experience the fullness of life in God’s presence, but not because God’s people would enter a land – their true King would come to theirs.”
Osborne summarizes the blessing: “From Genesis to Revelation, God’s plan has been to create life for his people in his presence … God’s plan to bless reached its fulfillment in the son of Abraham, who was the Son of God. For those of us united to Jesus by faith, we are to live as a blessing to the world in this present age while longing for our eternal blessings in the world to come.”
Divine Blessing and the Fullness of Life in the Presence of God is a fresh breath of theological “air.” It brings the people of God where they truly need to be: marveling at his grace and his gifts. Indeed, he is our covenant God and King!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.