To be blessed, be a blessing
By Don Ruhl
You want to be blessed, right? Did you know that to receive a blessing, you must be a blessing, and to be a blessing, you must pronounce blessings upon others.
Everyone, it seems, wants a handout from the government, and they think it works that way with God too. In America, we tell our government that they work for us, we do not work for them. We think it is that way with God too. We read in the Scriptures that He says He will bless us, and that we just need to ask Him.
However, as with many Bible topics, we have a tendency to see only part of the picture, and on the matter of blessings, God blesses us even before we know that He has blessed us, but it is also true that He waits to bless us further until we start blessing, blessing Him and our neighbor.
Okay, so do you want to be blessed? Then listen to the summation of God’s word and be a blessing as much as you want to have blessings.
In the Book of Numbers, the Lord instructed the high priests to pronounce a blessing upon the congregation of Israel. Our equivalent today is Jesus as our high priest, but what I want us to see today is man blessing man, and then God blessing man.
The Divine Instruction – Numbers 6.22, 23
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them…’” (Num 6.22–23).
When the Lord says how you can bless someone, you know you cannot go wrong in pronouncing such a blessing. The path of the blessing went from the Lord to Moses to Aaron to Israel, and now with it in Scripture, it goes to the Church and to Christians. The story of the Bible is the story of God blessing mankind.
God blesses us by His works and by His words, and He expect us to bless one another by our works and by our words. The greatest of all blessings do not come until we bless others.
How often do we sit around criticizing others? How often do we complain? In comparison, how often do we bless? How can we function as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, if we do not bless people?
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5.13–16).
Do you add salt to what you cook to curse your family and your guests? Do you turn on a light to curse your family and your guests? Yet, listen to us speak of one another and of the world, it sounds like we think we are here to be a curse.
We find things to criticize in others easily, why not have the same zeal with looking for reasons to bless others? What if God functioned as we do? What if He criticized everything that could be criticized in us? What if He waited until we do things perfectly before He blesses us?
The Divine Benediction – Numbers 6.24–26
“The Lord bless you
And keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
The Divine Benediction – The Lord Blesses You
The Divine Preservation – The Lord Keeps You
When the Lord blesses you, He keeps you.
Why should the Lord bless us?
When should the Lord bless us?
Where should the Lord bless us?
How should the Lord bless us?
The Divine Illumination – The Lord Shines upon You
The Divine Dissemination – The Lord Is Gracious to You
When the Lord’s face shines upon you, He is gracious to you. You know that the words the Lord speaks are powerful, for He created everything by speaking it into existence, but His power to bless is so powerful that all He has to do is shine His face upon you, and grace will fill you life!
The Divine Manifestation – The Lord Lifts Up His Countenance upon You
The Divine Satisfaction – The Lord Gives You Peace
When the Lord lifts up His countenance upon you, He gives you peace. In light of the recent presidential campaigning, think on this from the Psalms,
There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
The Lord is your blessing. The Lord enriches your life. However, He wants us to follow His instructions. How can we disregard His wishes, then expect blessings?
The Divine Ratification – Numbers 6.27
“So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them” (Num 6.27).
The blessing of verses 24–26 constitutes putting the name of the Lord upon Israel, or upon the church today.
When you put the Lord’s name upon someone, He blesses them. The God of heaven hears what we say and acts upon it. Think on that for a week.
For the Lord to put His name on the Church and on Christians now, means He loves us, He accepts us, He owns us, He directs us, He leads us, and He receives us.
What does this passage teach us, and how do we apply it? It teaches us to bless one another.
You do not necessarily have to read the passage to someone, but say, “God bless you,” or something similar. Do you curse others who do things to you that they should not do? Why not bless those who do they things they should do?
Therefore, may the Lord bless our Bible class teachers, may the Lord bless our song leaders, may the Lord bless our shepherds, may the Lord bless our deacons, may the Lord bless other church workers, may the Lord bless waiters and waitresses, may the Lord bless cashiers, may the Lord bless physicians, may the Lord bless sanitation workers, may the Lord bless political leaders, may the Lord bless businesses, may the Lord bless…you continue the blessings.
The priestly blessing of Numbers 6 follows the spirit of Genesis 12.2,
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
The religion of God is not only about being blessed, it is about being a blessing. God has not renewed us to be takers, but to be givers.
That is what it means to be the salt of the Earth, and the light of the world, that is, we do not exist for ourselves, but for the benefit of all the people around us. Are you a blessing to the church, your family, your neighborhood, your place of employment, your town, your state, your nation?
You can answer that question by answering another question: What if the rest of the world was just like you, what kind of world would this be? Now think of your interactions with all people, and see whether you are a curse or a blessing.
If you are a curse, change right now while you have the chance! Right now seek the ultimate blessing from God, which is the forgiveness of your cursed way of life, and then be in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Peter told the Jews those very things. Can you tell me a more wretched and cursed people than the ones who persuaded the Romans to kill the Son of God?
Yet, when they realized that they were a curse to the world rather than a blessing, they cried out to Peter, and his fellow apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2.37), to which Peter delivered a simple, but profound answer, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2.38).
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you believe that God can bless you in the name of Jesus Christ? Are you willing to turn from your cursed way of life? Do you want to begin living a blessed life? Do what Peter told those people to do!