I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.
The 33rd chapter of Deuteronomy begins with this verse:
This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death.
As the chapter unfolds, we find separate blessings.
This is part of the blessing for the tribe of Joseph from verses 13-16:
About Joseph he said:
“May the Lord bless his land
with the precious dew from heaven above
and with the deep waters that lie below;
with the best the sun brings forth
and the finest the moon can yield;
with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains
and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;
with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.”
I don’t hear much about people blessing others anymore.
Why couldn’t we?
Not just when we are dying, but throughout our lives?
What about praying for good things for our children, even when they become teenagers and adults?
Prayers that ask the Lord to bless them.
Prayers about blessing them with wisdom.
Blessing them with hearts that are tender toward God.
Praying for their faithfulness.
Praying for their purity.
Praying for their strength.
Can’t we bless our own children when we pray for them?
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There is a passage of scripture in the Old Testament that tells about the Festival of Tabernacles. Within that passage are these two verses:
Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.
The last part of verse seventeen speaks to me apart from this context.
The gifts that God has given us–our spiritual gifts and our talents—are to be given back as gifts or offerings to God.
If our spiritual gifts include teaching, then when we teach we are offering it to God.
If our talents include construction skills, when we are building a structure, our actions can be an offering, as well.
On Christmas morning, I drove to a local hospital by myself.
I had decided that since one of my talents is piano playing, I could play Christmas songs on a piano located in the lobby.
In some way, I hoped that the music would bring both comfort and cheer to those who were there.
As I played, many people came walking by.
Nurses and other hospital staff.
People with young children.
Everyone had a reason for being at the hospital on Christmas.
Several people made positive comments and smiled.
A young man found a seat in a waiting area, looking sober and thoughtful.
Was he worried?
Who did he love that was ill?
I played on.
Songs about the birth of Jesus.
Songs about Christmastime.
Because God had given me the blessing and ability to learn the skill of piano playing, I had piano playing to give to others on Christmas Day.
As I left to go home to my own family, I walked past a life-sized nativity scene outside the hospital.
The wise men brought gifts to Jesus long ago.
On this Christmas, my offering was one of music, given back to Him.
What gifts has God given to you?
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