The Word tells us that God delights to see His children prosper and succeed in life, and that His blessing is on and for those who choose to follow whole heartedly after Him. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 says, “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live. And may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
The blessing of the Lord is available to all His children, and over the next few letters, I want to speak about what that blessing is, and how we can determine to walk in it.
To begin with, let’s take a look at what the Bible claims the blessing of God to be. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for blessing essentially means, empowered to prosper. We see God speak this empowering blessing over Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 1:28 says, “And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.”
Attached to Adam and Eve’s blessing was an appropriate instruction, that’s because they were blessed for a purpose. They were to be fruitful, to multiply, to fill the earth, to subdue it and have dominion over every living creature on it. When God blessed them, He empowered them to prosper and increase and have dominion.
Later on, in the book of Genesis, after the fall of man, God once again speaks a blessing over man. This time, He blesses Abraham. Genesis 12:2-3 says, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favours] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others].
And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves].”
Like before, God’s blessing came with an empowerment and purpose. Abraham was empowered to increase and prosper greatly in order to be a blessing to the nations of the world. He was to demonstrate the extravagant goodness and generosity of God in spite of and in stark contrast to the lack and poverty the devil had enforced on people through famine, plagues and calamity.
No matter where Abraham went, no matter how dismal or barren the circumstances, the blessing of God that was upon him caused him to prosper and increase when every odd was against him doing so.
The Bible shows how this blessing was passed down from generation to generation from Abraham to his children. God even blessed Ishmael, but He reserved the same covenant blessing he had given to Abraham for Isaac and his descendants.
We read about this in Genesis 17:20-21 where it says, “And as for Ishmael, I have heard and heeded you: behold, I will bless him and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly; He will be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant, My promise and pledge, I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”.
And so this covenant blessing, a purposeful empowerment to prosper, would be passed down Abraham’s blood line in the form of a birthright. It was spoken by the father over his first born son. Abraham spoke this birthright blessing over Isaac, who in turn was to speak it over over his first born son Esau. But that didn’t happen did it.
No, here we see a very interesting twist in history. Esau was the older twin brother to Jacob. We read how these two brothers couldn’t be more different in looks or nature. Esau was a rough mannered hunter, while Jacob was more tender hearted and preferred the comfort of home to the wild outdoors.
When the time came for Isaac to bless Esau with his birthright, Jacob with the help of his mother Rebecca, deceived and tricked Esau and Isaac. He managed to steal his brother’s birthright from him, over a bowl of stew.
When all was said and done, there was no turning back. Isaac could not reverse the blessing he spoke over Jacob, nor speak another over his son Esau. Jacob had succeeded in receiving the covenant blessing through a traditional process that had been passed down from his great grandfather, to his father, and now to him.
The trouble was, as much as that blessing became increasingly evident in his life, and he prospered and increased in wealth and riches; his heart grew increasingly troubled with unrest. On the outside Jacob looked every part of the One who had received the blessing of empowerment to prosper. However, on the inside there was a void and emptiness that was eating him alive.
That’s because Jacob was beginning to recognise that the blessing of the Lord is far deeper than external wealth, it falls instep with a heart that seeks after God and His righteousness. Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].”
Jacob knew full well that he simply couldn’t go any further without making right with the Lord and his brother. The miserable torment he was feeling inside was preventing him from experiencing the true blessing of the Lord in his life.
This unrest came to a head when he knew he was about to be reunited with his brother Esau. In spite of the blessing being evident on Jacob’s life, he was terrified of what his brother would do to him when they met.
A little while ago, I read something Pastor Kevin Davis wrote about this conflict in Jacobs heart. It stirred something inside of me that inspired me to write this series.
In the church today so many people are chasing after the blessing. They are so determined to be blessed that they will go to any length to have a man or woman of God give them the blessing, or a formula for it. They long for the empowerment to prosper in health, wealth and riches - believing that would solve all their problems and fulfil their lives.
But that isn’t the true blessing of the Lord at all. Even though prosperity in every area of life is a result or fruit of the true blessing in our lives, it certainly isn’t defined by the terms people have labeled it to be.
As a result, so many are left chasing after an image of something that simply has no substance to it. They pursue an empty promise of wealth, fame and riches without any character to sustain it.
That’s because God’s blessing is and has always intended to be an empowerment to prosper from the inside out. It’s a lifestyle choice to follow after God with all our hearts and to cling to Him and His ways first. Something we will see Jacob begin to understand and thrive in, in the letters to come.
Next week we are going to find the truth about the true blessing of God from the Word itself. We will discover, as Jacob did, that the true blessing is far deeper than a superficial, external display of wealth, that is lost as quickly as it’s found.
Until then, I pray you will become increasingly unsatisfied with all that is skin-deep and not soundly rooted in the truth of Who God is and His way of blessing you.
All my love,