Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Some thoughts on Blesses

This is part of my study on the attribute of God: Blesses, for Freedom's Call. Give me your thoughts? I really struggled putting this particular one together! Don't know why, it should have been an easy one!


Key Verse Genesis 32:26
Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak. But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go until you BLESS ME.” (emphasis mine)

“Bless” is a word that is used often. I say “bless your heart” or “what a blessing!” almost daily to someone. It’s a common word in our church or Christian vocabulary. As many verses that include this word, this should be an easy attribute for me to talk about right? Wrong. For me, this has been a hard word to put words to.

Bless (Blessed or Blest, Blessing, Blesses)

• to make holy by religious rite; sanctify
• to make the sign of the cross over so as to sanctify
• to invoke divine favor upon
• to honor as holy; glorify: “Bless the Lord”
• to confer well-being or prosperity on.
• To endow, as with talent

As I look at those definitions, my mind goes in no fewer than 100 directions! I could take anyone of them talk for days! That could part of the reason I struggled!

I found myself drawn to the verse above. I love that Jacob says I will NOT let you go until you bless me! He was desperate for a blessing, but we know that Jacob had once before desperately sought a blessing.

Jacob and his twin brother Esau were born to Isaac and Rebekah. I was reminded that Isaac was the promised blessing to Abraham and Sara. He was a miracle baby!

Isaac and Rebekah also had trouble having a baby and Isaac took that heartfelt request before God. God heard him. I have to wonder if Isaac reminded God of the promise He had made to his father Abraham. Remember?

Genesis 22:15-18 “The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

God heard Isaac and gave him twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Since Esau was older, by mere minutes, he would receive the birthright. We know that Jacob convinced his brother to sell him his birthright. (For a pot of stew!) If that wasn’t enough, Rebekah and Jacob went on to lie, and trick Isaac into speaking the blessing over Jacob!

Jacob got his father’s blessing, but as a result he gained an enemy, his brother. I felt sorry for Esau as he pleaded with Isaac in Gen. 27: 38.

“Do you have only one blessing? Bless me too, my father!”

I have to wonder how Jacob felt about his actions. Sure, he had the birthright, but he had taken the BLESSING too. He had cheated Esau out of the precious words meant only for him. I wonder how that made Jacob feel, knowing that the words Isaac spoke over him were meant for Esau.

When Jacob is left alone and the “man” as Gen. 32:24 calls God, wrestles with him and eventually injures Jacob hip, Jacob was desperate. He refused to let go and fought for his life. He was desperate for a blessing. A blessing MEANT FOR HIM and no one else.

He got it too. God changed his name to Israel. In essence gave him a new identity.

I wonder how often we miss our blessing (read that as the divine favor) God has for us because we are too busy trying to mooch off of other believers? God wants to bless YOU. He has blessings just waiting for YOU. Things you can’t even begin to imagine!

For too long, I was satisfied hearing about other people’s blessings. How God provided a need. How he healed, restored, you name it. YES! It excited me, but 8 years ago it wasn’t enough to hear their stories anymore.

I was sick and tired of feeling left out. I guess you could say that I was kind of like Jacob and I began to have an insatiable desire for His Word to speak blessing over me. Not my parent’s blessing. Not my pastor’s blessing. Not my Bible study teacher’s blessing. My blessing. The desire to hear Him, feel Him, experience Him was almost overwhelming.

I wanted Him to bless me. I mentally wrapped my arms around His waist and refused to let go until He had blessed me. His blessing of joy, peace, contentment, love…those are things that He began to speak over me and I have never been the same. Yes, we have seen tangible blessings from our heavenly Father, but His unseen blessings have been far greater. The times when He speaks are so precious. He not only gives blessings, He IS blessing.


Heather said...

I love the passage where he is wrestling with God. I want to be like you...wrapping myself around Him and refusing to let go until I not only get my blessing...but wrestle with him until I can understand what He is doing.

Still Learning said...

When I use the word blessed or blessing I am refering to a tangible direct move of God in a person's life. You know, I'll hear about something wonderful that a friend had happen to her & if I think it was God... I might say you sure are blessed. Or if I know of someone who I can see God is really moving in their life I'll say they sure are blessed. When do I feel blessed? I feel blessed when I can really feel God in me & my life.
Gosh, the more I think about it.... that is hard. Blessing means so many things to us. Good luck.

BethAnne said...

You said, "I wonder how often we miss our blessing (read that as the divine favor) God has for us because we are too busy trying to mooch off of other believers"?

My answer? Way too often! WAAAAYYYYY too often! Good word.

Cindy said...

I love this post. I completely understand about wanting your own blessing. Wanting to hear God on my own was what finally drove me to really study the Bible on my own and not just be satisfied with everyone else's blessing Praise God that He has enough love and enough blessings to bestow on each of us.

ocean mommy said...

Oh girls, you are blessing my heart! Thanks...

Cindy you said something that after reading I thought YES! I didn't make that clear. It was seeing other people's reaction to what God had done in their life or spoke to them that made me want to "get my own!" I always understood that blessing follows obedience and I was not being obedient in several areas of my life.

I think that hearing Him is the ultimate blessing and one way I hear Him is through His Word. Does that make sense?

I love these comments.. :)

Fran said...

Well, since I've been and still am in a wrestling match with God, you wrote this for ME. ;) I'll read this again today. I will.

Thanks Steph. My blessing is coming.


Julie said...

I loved that you shared the definitions of blessing. I want to desire and crave deeply the intangible, the inward blessings from God. I want to be satisfied with the blessings God has given me thus far. But I do want my own blessing.