I know how being blessed feels when I gaze at a recent photo of my family. Yet, this is not an adequate definition of blessing
“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
Up until this point in Genesis there is mention of blessing, but there is more mention of events that are opposite to blessing. Remember Adam and Eve and their quick exit from the perfect garden? What about Noah and the flood or the devastating results of the Tower of Babel? The biblical story takes a turn in Genesis 12 when God interrupts the life of Abraham and declares that all people on earth will be blessed through him.
That word blessing gets thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? If I hear someone sneeze, I usually respond with, “God bless you!” I often use the word Blessings as the closing to a note or letter. My husband and I pray a blessing over our meals before we eat. I know how being blessed feels when I gaze at a recent photo of my family. Yet, this is not an adequate definition of blessing. Blessing is more than something I say, or something I feel. Indeed, the blessing described in Genesis 12:3 is more than words and emotions.
In general terms, God’s blessings include his favor, protection, and care.1 The word bless in Genesis 12:3 conveys spiritual and physical enrichment. In the case of Abraham, God physically blessed him with land, crops, and livestock that would also benefit other families who lived in close proximity. However, the word in context places more emphasis on the spiritual blessing that God has in mind, the way that “all the families of the earth” would learn about the one true God through Abraham’s relationship with him.2 God was going to give Abraham great promises, while at the same time he envisioned Abraham looking beyond himself to share promises and hope with others.
As a military wife you can enjoy the blessings that come from your husband’s military service by way of such things as support groups, medical care, and a sense of job security. The greatest blessing comes as you become involved in your community and leave a trail of blessing in the lives of others. How will you do that today?
List in your journal some ways you have been blessed by military life. What are some ways you have blessed others?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, enable me to view my life through the lens of blessing. Remind me of the blessings that are mine and use me to bless others. Amen.
1 John H. Walton, The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 392.
2 Allen P. Ross, Creation & Blessing, A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 263.