Servant of Blessing

Have you ever poured a glass of water for a thirsty soul? In the natural you have demonstrated the seemingly mystical act of blessing. It’s actually not mystical at all; rather, it is life changing and life filling.

The Hebrew word blessing, בְּרָכָה/bracha, is derived from a root meaning to kneel, as in kneeling to draw water from a pool; as blessing is related to the word for pool as well.

In Romans 12:14 Paul writes, “Bless those who persecute you – bless and do not curse.” Really? Why?

A blessing, in contrast to what we are accustomed to, is a special type of prayer requiring us to draw upon all the love we have for the human other. When we bless the other, over cursing, our renewed spirit is looking into the heavens, drawing water from the heavenly pool, and asking the Lord to fill whatever is missing from their life in order to heal them.

To bless the other requires love, in fact rabbinic thought suggests that you cannot bless someone you do not love. Blessing requires you to be sensitive in order to discern and the transmit the spiritual cup of water.

In that holy moment you become a faucet, a holy conduit connecting the thirsty to the source of all supply (Phil. 4:19). The beautiful thing is that the person you wish to bless need not be in your presence; you can be a servant of blessing to them from anywhere.

Paul in his wisdom doused the flame of vengeance by telling us to kneel beside the pool, clean and cool, reaching in and drawing out the supply for the others lack. I believe he drew this wisdom from a well-known verse in the Torah, but read slightly differently:

In Genesis 12:2-3, “I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you…”

It is as if the Lord is saying, “You shall be a kneeler at the pool just as I have served you.” Yet, there is more.

Genesis 12:3 opens וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, most familiar and translated as, “I will bless those who bless you.” This can be translated slightly differently, “I will bless those whom you will bless.”

Remember, he desired to make Abraham a blessing, so the Lord now says, “I will bless those whom you will bless.”

He will fill the pool. Supply the cup. He will give the unction of love necessary for you to kneel as a conduit. As Paul writes in Galatians 5:13, “through love serve one another.”

How can we overcome our very human urge to curse those causing us pain? Messiah. Messiah alone. And in Him we witness the power of heaven to shower down blessing upon those serving the other in Him.

Servants of blessing.

Be well. Shalom.

3 thoughts on “Servant of Blessing

  1. leongpky

    Rabbi Justin,

    While I understand that the Lord desires those whom He blesses to be His blessings to others and to bless others, I find it hard to accept grammatically that your slightly different translation is correct, just by itself. Did I overlook something subtle on syntax here? Or should I consider the holistic context from other scriptures in the translation of this verse? Appreciate your further instructions.

    Pete

    On Tue, Mar 9, 2021 at 4:07 AM the mountain mensch wrote:

    > Dr Justin Elwell posted: ” Have you ever poured a glass of water for a > thirsty soul? In the natural you have demonstrated the seemingly mystical > act of blessing. It’s actually not mystical at all; rather, it is life > changing and life filling. The Hebrew word blessing, בְּרָ” >

    Like

    1. Hi Peter, while most of the translations I include are mine, this rendering is of Hasidic origin. Looking at the working now, I should have indicated that it is understood, not literally translated in that way. There are numerous places in rabbinic literature where it is expressed as I have it in the devotional, and quite often we find translations that do not follow typical rules of translation, most notability in the early Aramaic renderings. I’ll have to see if I have an original source for what I’ve included. This devotional date usually written on my phone in waiting rooms, so I’m writing from memory.

      Like

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