This morning I woke up to a frosty covering of snow on the ground. The world around me was white and peaceful and calm. What a blessing! God had blessed me with one of my favorite things…snow!
This made me think about “blessing”.
I understand God as the one who blesses not man. He is the one with the storehouse of goodness and in His grace rains (and in this case, snows) those good things down on us.
I wondered… how can WE bless the Lord, isn’t He the One who blesses us… like He blessed me with snow?
Then why does David say in the Psalms…
bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is in me bless His holy name…
The word “bless” comes from the ancient Hebrew word “BERAKHAH” (bra-KHAH’). This word is related to the Hebrew word for “knee” and the verb “to kneel”. The ancients had a wonderful everyday visual image for this word. “BERAKAH” is the action of a camel as he knees down (Genesis 24:11).
It carries the idea that when we “bless” the Lord we mentally and spiritually bow down on our knees and worship Him, acknowledging that He is the source of all blessings.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:20 that we should be…
“always giving thanks to God the Father for everything”.
This sounds like an overwhelming task … “to bless God for everything”.
For the ancient Jews and the Jews of Jesus’ time “blessing the Lord” was entwined into their daily life. They would say a brief prayer honoring God as the source of everything good.
In Jesus’ time, these prayers began with “Blessed is He…” or “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe”.
They would bless God upon waking and bless God that each part of their bodies was working properly. They would bless God when they got dressed saying, “Blessed is He who clothes the naked”.
When they would see the change of the seasons, or new grass, or the flowers blooming on trees in the spring they would pray, “Blessed is He who did not omit anything from the world and created within it good creations… like the changing of the season, or this good new grass or good trees… for people to enjoy”.
When they would hear thunder it would remind them to thank God, “Blessed is He who’s strength and power fill the world”.
Praying in this way brought God close to them. He became a very center of their daily lives. It also reminded the Jews that God was good and the source of all blessings.
In good times and in bad they prayed. When a happy, long awaited event like a wedding or a birth happened they would pray, “Blessed is He who has allowed us to live and sustained us and enabled us to reach this day”.
In times of grief, the Jews would bless God. They would spiritually bow their knee in worship. They would say, “Blessed is He who is the true Judge”. This was a reminder that God would not let any bad deed or evil go unpunished. He IS the judge and has all things in His just hands.
We might think, Wow! that’s a whole lot of prayer! And we would be right. In filling our lives with blessing the Lord, something miraculous happens! Our point of view changes and so does our attitude about almost everything… for the better!
When we bless the Lord… when prayer gets entwined in our daily lives we begin to see…
“THAT THE WHOLE WORLD IS FULL OF HIS GLORY”. Isaiah 6:3
We will see God’s presence everywhere… and see His bountiful hand in all things!
It also reminds us that He is keeping a watchful eye on us, like a loving parent watches over His precious child. It is a reminder that we are under His constant care!
“BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL: AND ALL THAT IS IN ME BLESS HIS HOLY NAME”!
Bless the Lord, for the beauty and wonder of the snow he provided this morning out of His love and goodness! Amen.