WORD STUDY – A BLESSING – ברכ
Genesis 1:27-28a “So God created man in his image, the image of God created he him. Man and female create he them, and God blessed them.”
I remember one time when I was a camp pastor in a Christian Camp. We had one camper who was invited by a friend. This camper happened to be Catholic. One night during evening chapel there was an electrical storm and the power went out and of course with elementary age kids, panic immediately set in. We managed to calm everyone down but this little guy whispered to his counselor that he wanted the camp pastor to talk with him. When I went to him and asked what he wanted he said he wanted me to pray and to bless him. That caught me off guard, I always assumed prayer for someone and blessing them was the same thing.
I grew up in Catholic neighborhood and had heard about getting a blessing from the priest and I heard about the Pope giving a blessing but up until that moment, I never really thought about what it meant and if such a thing were Biblical. I mean we said a blessing before each meal but that was prayer. I was a good Baptist and just passed this off as a Catholic thing. Yet, when I began to examine Scripture I found that the first thing God did when He create man and woman was to bless them. The Bible is not clear on just what God did. I doubt he made some gesture with his index and middle finger and utter a few Hebrew words?
The Jews are also big on giving blessings like the Catholics. Somehow Protestants have been missing the boat. Needless to say in most cases blessings tend to be nothing more than ceremonial. To many people, getting blessed by the pope is considered good luck. Giving or receiving a true blessing tends to be a rare occurrence now adays. Yet, this is a long lost, but truly legitimate power that has been bestowed upon the saints, not relegated to an elite clergy.
The word blessing is baruch. Unfortunately, your lexicons, Strongs, and Bible Dictionaries give little insight into this very broad, deep and vital word. So let’s trace this word to its very Semitic origins. In the old Sumerian the word originally meant a parent or guardian who kneels down to the level of a child to speak to them from the heart. It was also used for someone in authority to come down to the level of the subordinate to speak his heart. For someone superior to you that creates a real feeling of happiness and acceptance. Ultimately a blessing is bestowing happiness and the bestower of this happiness is generally someone who is in a superior position.
The word baruch (bless) is spelled Beth, Resh and Hei. The Beth indicates the heart and more specifically here, the heart of God. The Resh represents the power of God, and the Kap represents a filling of one’s heart. The idea of a blessing in spiritual sense is to share God’s heart with someone else. When you bless someone in a non spiritual sense you are sharing your heart with that person. In a spiritual sense when you give someone a spiritual blessing you are sharing the heart of God within you with another person.
Look at it this way. You have a friend who is going through a difficult time. You try to bless that person with gifts and favors which are expressions of your heart. God too would like to speak words of encouragement to your friend but your friend is just too much in a funk to hear God. However, you are not and when you feel the presence of God and how tender heart His heart is you find yourself just beginning to speak out expressing the heart of God. You may find yourself saying something like: “God, wants you to be encouraged, He wants you to know that He has everything in control.”
I know what you are thinking, we call it a prophecy. Well, that is exactly what a blessing is when you prophecy over someone. Sometimes God needs a human voice to pass on a message from Him.
In its very Semitic root a baruch or blessing is an expression of one’s heart to bring joy to another. A blessing is not imparting your wishes or desires upon a person, it is literally playing match maker, so to speak. You are matching God’s heart with another’s person’s heart. You are speaking God’s heart to another person.
The numerical value of the word baruch is Beth – 2, Resh -200, Kap – 20. This totals 222 which is the numerical value for the voice of God. When you speak a true blessing your are speaking the voice of God. Two twos together (22) represent a joining of the heart of God, with the heart of man. Three twos (222) together is often a picture of a person whose heart is joined with God and leading another to the heart of God. Evangelism is one of the purest forms of giving a blessing to someone because you are introducing someone to the heart of God. Offering a blessing can be other things as well, it can be praying for someone’s healing, giving encouragement etc. However, it must be a reflection of God’s heart, not just yours to be a true blessing from God.
Look very closely at Luke 10:5-6: “And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.” This not a simple “how do you do.” Jesus is actually giving you the power to bring something tangible, His peace, to the house, to say a blessing that really has supernatural results.