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Where Do Blessings Come From? And Is There Power Behind A Blessing?
Jacob being given Esau's blessing depicted in the painting below
A blessing, according to Webster's 1913 dictionary, is " a declaration of divine favor, or an invocation imploring divine favor on something or someone; a benediction; a gift".
Based on the Bible, blessings were not just wishing someone well but they meant something and, if we are to believe the Bible, they do mean something even today. The blessings which were given to people in the Bible were not given lightly and were spoken very carefully. Therefore the person who received the blessing received a very exclusive gift that was not to be despised.
Today, people wish others well and some use the words "God bless you" quite often not realizing the power of their wish for the other person.
The First Blessing
In the Bible, the first blessing is recorded in the Book of Genesis, Chapter One. The animals were the first beings on earth to be blessed by God. He saw that they were good and He blessed them telling them to be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 1:22) Then when God created man, He blessed him and said for man to be fruitful and multiply as well but He also added that man was to have dominion over every living thing on the earth. (Genesis 1:28)
These blessings would be the first of many blessings in the Bible. Like the other blessings that occur, they had power in them and still have power in them.
The Blessings of Issac
"See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed:
Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee." Genesis 27: 27-29 (KJV)
"Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck." Genesis 27: 39-40 (KJV)
Charles Spurgeon's sermon on Jacob and Esau
The Blessing from Father to Son
The blessing of offspring by parents was one of the most important things that could be done for the child. Both Isaac and Jacob took the blessings that they had to give very seriously. They thought long and hard and they prayed diligently as well before they gave their blessings to their children because they knew that these blessings could greatly help or hinder them in their personal lives and in their lives as a people.
Isaac Blesses Jacob
The blessing that Jacob received was not his own as it is well known. Deceiving his father, who could barely see, Jacob pretended to be his twin brother, Esau, and got the blessing that Isaac had planned to give him. When Esau entered the tent of his father in order to receive his blessing, Isaac became upset because he said that there was not much left to give to Esau. Yes, Isaac had given Jacob nearly all of the blessing that he had in him because he could not undo that which he had said to Jacob. Esau had to settle for that which was left.
Jacob received the blessing from his father that:
- people would serve him
- nations bow down to him
- he would be a lord over his brethren
- everyone who blessed him would be blessed and everyone who cursed him would be cursed
Esau received the blessing that:
- he would live by the sword
- he would serve his brother
- he would break the yoke of servitude to his brother off of his neck
See Genesis Chapter 27.
Both brothers took the blessing very seriously and truly believed that it would impact upon their lives and the blessings did because they were given by a God-fearing man.
Jacob Blesses the Twelve
Jacob blesses his children when it is his time to die as well. He also blesses his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh the sons of Joseph.
The blessings that Jacob gives to his twelve sons again are taken very seriously and contain prophecies that can be proven in the tribe of Judah by the birth of Jesus Christ.
Jacob does what is seen as unusual and gives Ephraim the blessing above his older brother Manasseh because he says that the older shall serve the younger. Although this displeases his son, Joseph, he cannot tell his father where his blessing should or should not go.
The Hymn based upon the blessing of Aaron and the tribe of Levi - "The Lord Bless you and keep you"
The Lord's Blessings
As indicated above, the Lord Himself blesses all throughout the Old and New Testament. His blessings are abundant and He is generous and merciful when giving His gifts.
In the Book of Numbers, He instructs Moses to tell Aaron and the tribe of Levi to bless the children of Israel. The words:
"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." (Numbers 6: 24-27)
have been used many times for comfort and for blessings throughout history but they were first said and directed to the children of Israel.
Have you ever blessed someone else?
One characteristic of blessings is that they always multiply whatever is there. Whether it be concerning a person or an item, the job of blessings is to take what is and make it more.
Consider Jesus and His miracle with the loaves and the fish. He blessed the bread and the fish and then they multiplied before the people. Everyone was fed and was full from five loaves and two fish. (Luke 9:16, Mark 6:41)
When Jesus spoke about those who are blessed He also spoke of their reward that resulted from the blessing.
- the poor in spirit are blessed for they will inherit the kingdom of heaven
- those who mourn are blessed because they will be comforted
- the meek are blessed because they will inherit the earth
- those that hunger and thirst after righteousness will be blessed because they will be filled
- those that are pure in heart are blessed because they will see God
- those who are peacemakers are blessed because they will be called the children of God
- those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness are blessed because the kingdom of heaven is theirs
See Matthew Chapter 5
All Blessings come from the Lord
The Bible says that rain falls on both the just and the unjust. This is because the Lord is merciful. All blessings come from Him.
He is able to sustain and to bless those whom He chooses and He decides whether or not a person should be blessed.
In essence, a good blessing given by one person to another is a good prayer. Those who give good blessings ( that is, blessings that are able to bear fruit) have the ear of God. In order for their blessings to be fulfilled and to multiply, God must agree that the blessing is good and that it pleases Him. Only then will it occur.
He Himself blesses when there is no one around to give the blessing as He blessed Jacob when He wrestled with him and changed his name to Israel.
Blessings from the Lord God are great gifts to be treasured and to be remembered because these blessings last for a lifetime and continue on into eternity.