I just want to bless you in the name of the Lord. Now, you might be thinking, isn’t that a sweet Christian thing to say. Let me stop you in your tracks. There is power in the blessing of the Lord.
In March 2020, a song called “The Blessing” hit Christian airwaves. It’s sung with conviction as worship leaders sing it before empty churches or in their lonely living rooms. They know that if people received that song as a blessing from the Lord and not just as a sweet little song, their listeners will receive strength, encouragement, hope and guidance. Worship leaders know they are singing this blessing over people who desperately need to accept that blessing.
Blessings hold an important place in the life of a Christian. I’m not talking about financial blessings or the blessings of family around you. Those are blessings we do need to be grateful for, and we should acknowledge them, of course. No, I’m talking about a certain kind of blessing here – the spoken blessing.
The Blessing is based on Numbers 6:24-26 – “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” It further references a small portion of St Patrick’s Lorica, “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down.”
Kari Jobe and her team wrote this song intending to activate God’s blessings into the hearts of those who would listen. Such a blessing needs to be received with a sense of reverence and intention to apply the truths of the blessing into your life and keep it close as you go forward.
Where does this concept come from? A spoken blessing held significant weight in the Old Testament. Spoken blessings are also present in the New Testament. There are two examples I’m going to touch on today, but I encourage you to do a word study for yourself.
First, Isaac was at the end of his days, and his sons were coming towards the realization that their dad would not be with them much longer. (Genesis 27-28) The importance of the father’s blessing back then was incredibly powerful and much sought after. Back then, a father saved his strongest blessing for his first-born son, as that son would carry an excessive amount of weight on his shoulders, taking over the Patriarchal responsibilities of his clan. Thus, the father would speak into their present situation, drawing out their strengths. He also imparted a blessing that they could take to the bank as they went on with their lives after he passed on.
Jacob understood the power of the blessing so well that he tricked his twin into selling his birthright. Esau was the older twin. When they were younger men, Jacob successfully tempted Esau to give him his birthright in exchange for a bowl of stew. Years later, he deceived his blind father into pronouncing the elder son’s blessing over him. Although Jacob paid dearly for his trickery, the power of the blessing remained.
Toward the end of his own life, Jacob blessed his sons. (Genesis 49) One son lost his birthright – the blessing – by dishonouring his father. However, Jacob did not pass that blessing on to his favourite son; he followed the birth order. Jacob reminded each of his sons who they were, pointed out their strengths, then encouraged them. His blessing carried God’s favour, not only to them but to the countless generations that followed them. He pointed his sons toward the one whose help and counsel would be there for them long after he died. It was up to each son to not only receive the blessing but to act upon it.
I encourage you to take a few moments and listen to The Blessing. Both the performance and the editing of this video are outstanding. Move past merely appreciating the artistry and the cleverness; press into the intent of the video. Those singing this song came together to bless you with the promises of God. Receive that blessing as if God himself put his hands upon your head and blessed you.
I bless you in the name of the Lord. May the Lord bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May his face ever be turned toward you and give you peace.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden