The Lord Bless You
The Lord said to Moses,..."This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: 'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.'"
Achoo! "God bless you."
When saying goodbye, we might say, "The Lord bless you!"
At the end of a Eucharist service, the priest pronounces, "May the Lord God Almighty in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit bless you..."
But what does it mean to bless?
In the Bible we see blessing to be fruitful and multiply, blessing to set something apart (make holy), blessing of favor, blessing of success, blessing to be content and happy, etc. And as far as who we are to bless, the Bible even tells us to bless our enemies and those who mistreat us.
I know we tend to equate blessing with goodness, fortune, abundance, and happiness. But when we look at Jesus' teaching in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), we see that doesn't quite match up with our understanding of blessing. "Blessed are those who mourn"??! (v. 4) "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness"??! (v. 10) How is that blessed??
So although there IS truth to blessing being "good and prosperous," that understanding doesn't hold up all the way through the Bible (especially with the Beatitudes). So is there another definition that is more comprehensive?
How about this: When we bless someone, we are asking God to grant them
fulfillment in God’s good will and intentions for their life. God DOES enjoy giving us good things, so fruitfulness, joy, abundance, peace, and His favor are all in His will and intention for our life. He is a good, good Father, after all.
But God also knows that any lasting contentment in life comes when we get to the end of ourselves and make God first. That's why those who mourn, are persecuted, and are poor in spirit (all conditions mentioned in the Beatitudes) are "blessed." They are at a place where they can find God as their source of life and not the temporal things of this world. And that is the greater fulfillment, will and intention of God for our life.
So blessing someone is not as much asking God to give them the desires of their heart, as it is to fulfill the design of their life. That's why the Bible also speaks of a person being blessed when they follow God's ways/commandments (Psalm 1:1-2, Proverbs 3:1-4). They're meant to give us life and help us be in His will.
As we soldier on through this pandemic, I pray we simply remember that we are blessed and shall be blessed as we seek God and abide with Him. THE LORD BLESS YOU! Please take time not only to receive His blessing but to give His blessing to others. You are blessed to bless those around you. In so doing, you speak God's life and will for fulfilling His intention to heal and free this world from sin's curse. Amen.
Today's prayer is simply this song of blessing for you: