Summary: Blessings aren’t like anything else we do – they are a pronouncement of God’s good that will come upon another. They are prayers of faith, said aloud, for the benefit of the hearer (the child) as much as for the benefit of the One listening (God).
Blessings are important, aren’t they? We ask for them – and couldn’t survive without them. God is the ultimate “Blesser” – so He has asked the same of His people: for Christian fathers to bless their children. The entire chapter of Genesis 27 speaks of one such blessing – when Isaac blessed both his sons, Jacob and Esau. His blessing consisted of a pronouncement of good and grace from God upon his children.
I believe ‘The Blessing’ could be summed up by a few simple words (with corresponding questions our kids often ask):
1. Affection - Do you love me?
2. Acceptance - Can I be myself around you?
3. Attention - Are you watching me?
4. Approval - Did I do a good job? Am I a smart kid?
5. Affirmation - Are you proud of me?
Children & teens today reveal something very disturbing… they are missing the blessing. The extreme rise of tattoos, piercings, goths, and unwed pregnancies are a glaring proof that little boys and little girls never found much of the above five factors in their home & church – which is precisely why they seek those things from other places / people. When Michael Jackson was asked why he underwent so many facial plastic surgeries, he simply replied that he just didn’t want to look anything like his father! After receiving the award for the ‘World’s Largest Sunday School,’ Dr. Jack Hyles (First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana), took the plaque and laid it face down on his daddy’s grave and cried out, “Are you proud of me now, daddy? I did what you said – what do you think of me now, daddy?” We never get too old, too big, or too famous to need the blessing.
If you didn’t get the blessing from your home or your church – you might feel like you’re on your own to make it work, like you’re not watched over or cared-for. When you pray and God didn’t answer, you almost expected it – maybe you didn’t do it right, maybe He had better things to do. Whether you are trying to fix your dishwasher, change your brakes, plant a garden, keep everything afloat, or raise kids of your own… at the core is a belief that you are fatherless… orphaned. It’s like we’ve been told to take a trip – without a map. Well, here’s your map:
1. You Cannot Give What You Have Not Received!
Giving the Blessing requires you must First have Received One! But what if your father didn’t give you the blessing? Keep reading… What if he was like most fathers who didn’t get it from their father? No problem! What then? You must get your blessing from God, your Heavenly Father. In Matthew 3:17, the Father said the words we all long to hear, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” And He will say that over you, too. Combine John 14:18 and Romans 8:15 – here’s what you get: God will not leave any of us orphaned. He adopts us into His family and desires for us to call Him “Daddy.” 2 Corinthians 6:18 isn’t a verse about our salvation, it’s a verse about our acceptance as we are called out of the world … “And I will be a Father unto you and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
2. Giving the Blessing Requires FAITH!
Amazingly awesome acts of faith in Hebrews 11… wouldn’t you agree? Abel’s sacrifice, Noah’s ark, Abraham’s sacrifice, Moses’ stand, Rahab’s choice, and many more. But right in the middle of this, a simple thing – a small thing – one that seems out of place: Isaac’s blessing on Jacob & Esau and Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s sons (v20-21). Did God include this out of courtesy to these men because they didn’t have anything else worthy of this chapter – but felt compelled to mention our Patriarchs? I don’t think so. I believe what Isaac and Jacob did was an act of great faith.
Blessings aren’t like anything else we do – they are a pronouncement of God’s good that will come upon another. They are prayers of faith, said aloud, for the benefit of the hearer (the child) as much as for the benefit of the One listening (God). Pronouncing a blessing is, in essence, proclaiming possibility – like a ‘prophecy’ of favor. It cultivates hope and expectation – but it requires faith… faith of the blesser (to speak in hope) and of the blessed (to live in expectation). You might be asking, “But how do I know what good will come upon him/her?” You don’t – but God does, and Matthew 7:9-11 teaches that God is a better Father than we could ever be. He give all kinds of great gifts to his children when they ask. So start asking!