The Allocation and Bestowment of God’s Blessings
How do we view God’s blessings? We are all blessed in so many ways. I feel overwhelmingly blessed when I stop and think about all the circumstances in my life. My health, the biological family I have, my church family, my job (ministry), my gifts and talents, and all the things that God has blessed me with during my earthly life. God blesses me when I deserve it and even when I don’t. Too often, when we think about how we are blessed, unintentionally we make it about ourselves. By this, I mean that we see it as a cause and effect or as a result of something we did or deserve. It’s natural to think that when we are blessed, we are doing something right and that we are in God’s favor. But is that really the case, always? Are my blessings a direct result of my actions? Perhaps, but not all the time.
Blessing, according to the Oxford dictionary is defined as God’s favor and protection. Webster states that it is a favor or gift bestowed by God, made holy; consecrated. It is a thing conducive to happiness or welfare. We must remember that blessings are attributed, allocated, and distributed by God. We are the recipients and we benefit from them. His blessing upon us helps us, strengthens us, and we are better off because of it.
As we’ve been studying through the book of Genesis, we see numerous accounts of God blessing people. Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created man in His own image, male and female and then blessed them. He told them to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. What did Adam and Eve do to receive God’s blessing? It was God’s decision and His will to bless them in order for them to accomplish what He had set them out to do. The blessing was not a response to anything they did. God blessed them by setting them apart, for Himself. He blessed them in order for them to be fruitful and multiply. God blessed them because it was His will and for His glory.
Our blessing could also be the result of obedience to God by those who came before us. God told Abraham that He would be with him and bless him as He made the covenant with him. In Genesis 26:4 He told Isaac that all the nations of the earth will be blessed by his offspring; not because his offspring were going to be amazing people, but because of Abraham’s obedience and faithfulness to Him. God said because Abraham listened to Him, and kept His mandate, His commands, His statutes, and His instructions. Abraham’s obedience resulted in his offspring being blessed. Does Abraham’s blessing or the blessing of our fathers carry over into our lives? God told Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 that He will not only bless him, but that He would bless those who bless him, and also curse anyone who treats him with contempt. As God delivered the 10 Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai, He said that He would punish those who hate Him to the 3rd and 4th generations. The consequences for their sin would be passed on to their descendants. At the same time God promises to show faithful love (blessing) those who love Him and keep His commandments, even out to a thousand generations. That’s a lot of people.
Many times we are recipients of His blessing because of our obedience and faithfulness to Him, but it may not always be a direct result of anything we accomplish. God’s blessing is always good, always right, always according to His will and always for His glory. Our blessing may not only be for us but for others around us as part of God’s master plan.
Scripture also talks about us blessing God.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you! (Ps 145:10)
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Ps103:2)
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples. (Ps 96:2-3)
Our blessing towards God is more about thanksgiving, joyfully announcing all the good things about Him. It is more of an exclamation of gratitude and admiration. It is not meant to make God any larger, higher or stronger. We cannot add anything to what He already is.
As we read about God’s blessing in Scripture, it is yet another example of His grace towards us. Yes, we truly are blessed!