It is a question that deserves to be answered, what are Biblical Blessings. Most of us have heard the term “bless you” mainly as a simple phrase used as a greeting. Blessing, can be defined as the act of an individual who blesses. It is sometimes used in response to a good deed, or even a good sneeze. More significantly, it is used to define the words given in a short prayer of the Priestly Blessings spoken at the end of some Church meetings or before and after an event or a meal. Also, as a transfer or voicing of good expectation, well-being, prosperity or things that bring happiness. It can be asked for or it can be given.
Have you ever stopped to consider what it really means to be blessed or to bless someone? What things do you consider to be a blessing? Are all blessings material or can they be intangible or even spiritual blessings? Together we will be looking into God’s Word for the answers and a deeper appreciation of true Biblical Blessings. This will be done through a series of articles examine various aspects of blessings as is revealed to us in the Bible.
The Word Bless
The Hebrew word that is most frequently translated bless comes from the Hebrew root ‘brk’ or as some text puts it ‘barak’. It can be used in a general way to mean ‘to speak and ask for good things for someone or something. Some Jewish writers use b’rakhah in reference to prayers of blessings and in the book ‘Blessing the King of the Universe: Transforming Your Life Through the Practice of Biblical Praise’ by Irene Lipson, it was noted that the Rabbis have taught that one should not undertake anything of worth without a blessing. There is a b’rahkah for almost every conceivable situation. They are taught to take everything as an opportunity to bless God.
As I searched for information on blessing, I couldn’t help but ponder the several reference to the Jews frequently using prayers of blessings. We ourselves are reminded in scripture to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17). One must wonder if this practice have had an impact on the success and prosperity of many Jews or was it based only on the covenant. The Bible tells us much about the effect of our thoughts, the words of our mouth and our choices, in inviting blessings or curses into our lives. It can also be seen that blessings does not mean the absence of trouble, tests or trials in some form, but it goes beyond that and prevails in spite of those factors and affects their outcomes.
Personally, I don’t believe the Bible needs someone to back it up, however, I found a particular study about counting or focusing on our blessings, rather interesting. It is found in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, February 2003, and was done by Robert Emmoms and Micheal McCullough, titled “Counting Blessings versus Burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life.” Its concluding results suggested that “conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.” I agree with the conclusion and with that being said, let us now consciously focus on what the Word of God tells us about blessings. May you be blessed by the articles linked below.
A Biblical account of the first to fourth blessings using the King James Version of the Bible.
(To come: The Blessings of Abraham)