What does blessing mean 1
Keyword: blessing, blessing
Special care of God for his creatures, through which he gives them strength, life and well-being.
(1) At the beginning there is the blessing: God's story with humans and animals begins with the fact that he blesses the living beings created by him (Genesis 1: 22-28). The blessing is that they should be fertile and multiply. The new beginning that God makes with Noah and his family after the flood is also connected with the promise of his blessing (Genesis 9.1).
The progenitor Abraham occupies a special position in the history of God's blessing with humans. There is also a beginning connected with it: the story of God with Israel as his chosen people. Abraham is blessed when he is called (Genesis 12: 2). Linked to this is the promise that his descendants will become a great people. The blessings for Abraham extend well beyond his person. With him and through him not only his descendants are blessed, but all the peoples of the earth (Genesis 12: 3).
In the New Testament this promise is associated with the salvation that Christ brings. Through his death on the cross, Christ cleared the way so that the blessing God gave Abraham will benefit all peoples (Galatians 3: 6-14).
(2) Blessing or curse: The opposite of blessing is the curse, which is supposed to cause a reduction in life force and well-being. Like the blessing, the curse is also set by God. The story of the seer Balaam shows that the God of Israel is Lord over both the blessing and the curse. When the enemies of Israel commission Balaam to curse the people who have been blessed by God, the execution of this commission turns into the opposite: Balaam must bless Israel (Numbers 22-24).
What is described here as a unique special case becomes a program for Jesus. People belonging to him are to love their enemies and bless those who cast a curse on them (Luke 6: 27-28).
(3) Blessed life: From the point of view of creation, God's blessing lies on all creatures. The priests should award it to the people chosen by God in a special way (Numbers 6: 24-26). Three times the name of God is proclaimed over the people of Israel. In this name there is also a reminder that God chose his people in love.
Blessings were also prayed for in the worship service in Israel. Some psalms are such prayers (Psalm 67; Psalm 85). Those who ask for blessings are expressing that they are opening themselves to God. It is God alone who gives the blessing, even when people promise the blessing.
However, the blessing is not tied to the worship service. It can also be passed on in everyday life, for example in the family. In the same way, Jesus blesses children in the New Testament (Mark 10:16).
(4) Farewell blessing: A situation that is particularly associated with the blessing is the farewell when one person leaves and another stays behind. The one who stays behind gives the blessing to the one who goes away. He should protect him in danger and strengthen him in all impending emergencies. The blessing is like a good power that accompanies the walker. Isaac gives his son Jacob the blessing on the way when he has to flee from the threatening vengeance of his brother (Genesis 28: 1-4). Jesus also blessed his disciples before he was taken to heaven (Luke 24:51).
The dying who has to leave his people behind also bids farewell. Jacob blesses his sons before his death (Genesis 49) or Moses blesses the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 33). In this way the life force is passed on from generation to generation.
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