What does it mean when we say we are blessing God?
I’ve known about this Rabbinic idea for a while- that when God blesses us, they are not rewards. Rather they are opportunities for growing into being worthy of the blessing.
Children are probably the most obvious example. Plenty of people who don’t deserve children, have children. They aren’t a reward. But they are a blessing. They give us an opportunity into growing into being the kind of person who is worthy of them.
So, with that idea in mind, I then started wondering, what does it mean when we bless God?
In verses like Psalms 145:10
“All Your works shall praise You, O LORD,
And Your saints shall bless You.”
Or when we say the traditional blessings and say Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu or Blessed are you Oh Lord our God.
What are we actually saying, or doing, we we say we are blessing God?
We aren’t rewarding God.
We aren’t giving God something he’ll grow into being worthy of.
It’s often used to mean praising him, but then why not just use the word praise?
If to bless means to praise, is he praising us when he blesses us? No!
I got some interesting feedback from Crystal Lutton.
She said that as she was reading through the prophets, she started to see God’s wrath as something that is not coming from God, but rather that he is turning people’s own wrath back on themselves. She thought it might be similar concept with blessings.
In the Torah portion last week, we read about Pharaoh hardening his heart. I know a lot of people struggle with the idea that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart for him. But what if God was just turning Pharaoh’s own hardening back on him? Sending back the same energy to him that Pharaoh had sent to heaven.
I contrasted it with Jacob, who wrestled with God for understanding. He wrestled in order to Shema (to hear, understand and obey). It was with a different intention, a different place in his heart, sending out a different energy than Pharaoh. And in turn, God blessed him.
I’m connecting this with the idea that we reap what we sow.
And also with Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
And the idea that our words can speak either life or death into the world.
It all comes back to echad- unity. When we are seeking his will, we are seeking unity with him. We are made in his image, and he is echad.
I’ve long understood prayer to be just that- seeking unity. He’s not a genie in a bottle to grant our wishes. And our prayers don’t change his plans. But when we pray, it is for our benefit to understand his will and learn how to carry it out in the world.
I’m not sure yet exactly how to put it all together to express what is rolling around in my head. But it seems to be almost a reciprocal energy.
I’m not trying to get all woo-woo new agey, but if you know anything about energy, it’s a scientific concept. Everything has a measurable energy.
When we bless God, we are sending an energy of openness, willingness to do his will, unity with him. And when he blesses us, he is giving us the opportunity to be in unity with him and to do his will on earth. And it never fails that when we receive blessings, they are magnified when we grow to become worthy of them. Whether that is by raising our children well, so they in turn bless the world. Or using financial blessings to do good. Or using blessings of good health or anything else to be a reflection of his light on earth.
I’m hoping to refine my expression of this idea more, so I’d love to hear any feedback, comments or questions!
Emily is a Torah Observant believer in Yeshua who enjoys studying the Scriptures from a Hebraic perspective and sharing what she’s learned.