Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:14-18
God specified the purpose and the function of the sun, moon and stars. They are created as signs and for seasons. He specifies the location of the sun and moon; He tells the sun to provide light in the day and the moon and stars to provide light in the night. By speaking the word, He sets them in their place and makes them function according to His will. Night and day, all the four season come and go without fail, because God has said so.
Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth. – Genesis 1:20-22
He created the animals, birds and fish and spoke their function and purpose. Verse 22 is interesting. This is the first time that the word ‘bless’ is mentioned in the Bible. Another word for ‘blessing’ is ‘benediction’. What does ‘blessing’ or ‘benediction mean? ‘Bene’ is ‘good’; diction is ‘to speak’. When God created the animals, He blessed them by speaking good words over them. Every time God spoke, the words of His mouth were constructive and good; they created and framed. He spoke purposefully. Right from the beginning of creation, He spoke good words and created good and purposeful things. Out of emptiness, void and darkness, God framed a beautiful, purposeful world by the good words of His mouth.
And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth. – Genesis 1:22
His good words to the creatures of the world are words of increase and purpose. By His word, He gives them the capacity to increase. He speaks to them to multiply and fill their habitats. People think that when they give birth to a child, they have to start accumulating wealth so that they can give it to their child when he or she grows up. But what is more important is to speak good words into the life of the child – words of increase and blessing. When you start a business, speak good words of increase and blessing into it.
Then God goes on to create man.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. – Genesis 1:26
What is the image and likeness of God? It creates by the word; it dominates over every thing that goes wrong. God created everything by His word. God took dominion over darkness, void and emptiness by His word and framed a full, beautiful and purposeful world. God made man like Him to have dominion and to create beauty and purposefulness out of emptiness, darkness and chaos.
In verse 28, we read God ‘blessed’ them and ‘spoke’ good words to them to them – be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and dominate. Faith is the ability to speak words and produce good things. God demonstrated faith in the very beginning at the creation.
TWO KEY ELEMENTS OF BLESSING
In every part of the world and in every community, blessing is known. Some things are common in all cultures; blessing in one such thing. God taught it to the first man and it has spread to all cultures.
Let’s focus on the text of the blessing. We see that blessing can be split into 2 parts:
- The blessing of increase – to multiply, grow and expand.
- The blessing of success – to subdue and dominate over every wrong thing, to succeed against all odds.
This pattern can be observed over and over again in the Old Testament.
Blessing at Creation
At creation, God blessed man with the words – ‘fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and dominate.’
The blessing of increase – to multiply, be fruitful and replenish the earth.
The blessing of success – to subdue and have dominion over the earth.
The blessing of Abraham
Let us look at the blessing of Abraham. We must remember that this is the very first time that God spoke to Abraham.
The blessing of increase: I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. – Genesis 12:2-3. When he was just a single person, God blessed him saying that he would become a great nation.
The blessing of success: I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. – Genesis 12:2-3
In just 2 verses, God mentions ‘blessing’ five times. God taught him the value of blessing; He blessed him and told him what that blessing would accomplish. He spoke the same blessing that He gave to Adam to Abraham. Though the words are different, the essence of both the blessings is the same. It looks like Abraham has understood the meaning of blessing. Moreover, he seemed to have spread the concept. All his relatives knew it.
Rebekah’s family blesses her
The context is Abraham wanted to find a bride for his son, Isaac. He sends his servant to find a bride among his relatives. He goes and finds the bride. The bride’s family was ready to send their girl along with the servant to Abraham. During her send-off, they blessed her. Though the words are different, the same elements are present.
The blessing of increase: May you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands – Genesis 24:60.
The blessing of success: And may your descendants possess, the gates of those who hate them – Genesis 24:60
Live bountifully! And your children bountifully – Genesis 24:60. The Message Version.
Many Christians have not understood God’s blessing. They glory in their poverty, lack and failure. I usually preach this verse at weddings. Recently, after I had spoken at a wedding, a man asked me, “Where do you get such verses from?” Most people only preach about the wedding at Canaa during wedding. They don’t preach that properly either. They just say that Jesus went there, He’s here also. And they give advice to the couple not to fight, to give in to each other and such regular stuff that they already hear everywhere else. What did Jesus do at the wedding at Canaa? There was a problem of lack. They ran short of wine. He solved it by providing plenty and of a better quality.
Isaac’s blessing on Jacob
Going further down the story, we see how Isaac blessed his sons. Jacob believes in blessing. He saw how his grandfather and his father succeed in life. He realises that they succeeded because they had blessing. So he decided to get the blessing by hook or crook. Of course, blessing cannot be got be robbing it. He later repents. But the point here is that he realises the importance of blessing for his life.
Look at Isaac’s blessing on Jacob.
The blessing of increase: Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. – Genesis 27:28
The blessing of success: Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you. – Genesis 27:28
…to be continued…