Last updated on April 14, 2020
Genesis 1:26-28 (NET)
“ Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.’
God created humankind in His own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.’”
As we have been exploring and experiencing the days of Creation together through these past blog posts, what stands out to us the most is the love and wisdom of the One who created us — His amazing goodness that is beyond all of our own understanding. (See Ephesians 3:14-21)
Because of our familiarity with the Creation story, it is easy to run right past familiar words and miss an event that is probably of greater significance than we may ever know.
“God blessed them ….”
Recalling the lesson of “The Power of Our Words”, the significance of words that Creator God spoke over the first man and woman cannot be taken lightly. In our culture, do we realize how important a Father’s Blessing is, especially when it comes from the One from whom all life originated and is upheld?
Acts 17:28a (NKJV) — “for in Him we live and move and have our being…”
Speaking of Jesus, the Son of God:
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17 NASB)
Holy Spirit beckons us to pause in our journey and turn aside, focusing our attention on the blessing of God.
- First, let us look at the word, “blessed”. It is the English translation of the Hebrew word, “barak”, which means “to kneel down”.
Remember, Creator God is the originator of “the blessing”. He is the Source from Whom all things were created and live and thrive.
My question was this: How could the same Hebrew word (barak) be used for an action of the Eternal God, of our response back to God, and our interactions with others or created things? Again, it means “to kneel down”, which is a picture of humility. It is a posture that removes barriers to the relationship that is before us.
We bless (“kneel down” before) God, expressing our love for, dependence on, submission to, and worship of our God.
We bless (“kneel down” before) our children to interact with them in a way that communicates love, giving them our undivided attention. Our blessing releases them into their destiny and gifting, especially that which flows down through our generational line. (Genesis 27; Genesis 48 + Hebrews 11:21)
We bless (“kneel down” before) others, at least in our heart, as we interact with the person before us, speaking and giving to them our gift of encouragement, or of what we possess that we can pass on to them, that honors them and brings them into a new level of their God-given identity and purpose.
We can also bless (“kneel down” before) cities, nations, the land and all that lives in its midst, releasing God’s purposes and provision as His “imagers”. (Deuteronomy 33)
We, from out of our own human resources, are able to bless others, but there is a Holy Spirit-empowered blessing that only flows through us when we are in relationship with the One who created us. We would be amazed if we could see what is released and activated in the spiritual realm when we speak what we hear our Father say.
Jesus demonstrated this very thing to us when He lived here on earth as the Son of Man. By living as a Holy Spirit-empowered Man, He did what He “saw” His Father doing and spoke what He “heard” His Father say. (John 5:19; John 12:49-50; John 16:13)
What I see as the common factor in all the scriptural applications of “bless” is that it is the releasing of a “life-empowering gift”.
As mentioned before, Creator God pronounced and gave the first blessing, releasing ALL that humankind would need to fulfill their purpose.
When we “bless” God, we, in turn, are taking out of the supply and fruitfulness of God’s blessing to us and giving it back to Him. This is why we are encouraged to give out of our resources tithes and offerings, thanksgiving and praise, our love and time spent before Him, in His presence.
We also “bless” God and others with the sharing of ourselves and our resources. The abundance with which God has blessed us is meant to be passed on to others around us, and to future generations.
“Blessed to be a blessing”.
That is what is meant to be a benefactor. We recognize that all that we are and have, comes from His hand — not to be hoarded, but in order that others may be blessed.
We can freely give because we freely receive, and His blessing is a River that continually flows from the Throne of God, through us and to others (see “Created in the Image of God: Our Father’s Blessing, Part 2”).
But, again we ask, why would “barak” (“to kneel down”) be used when referring to the All-Powerful Sovereign Creator God? Is He also humble? 🤔
But when we look at the fullness of revealed truth in the Bible, we see that the Eternal Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, IS humble. What does that look like?
- He is full of love, grace and mercy.
- He is forgiving and remarkably patient with each and every one of us.
- He is faithful to His promises for us, even when we are not.
- He meets us where we are at: providing, protecting, rescuing, restoring.
And, then, there is Jesus….Jesus (Son of God and Son of Man), a perfect representation of the Godhead, spoke of and demonstrated this humility with His life and words.
Hebrews 1:2-3 (TPT)
“But to us living in these last days, God now speaks to us openly in the language of a Son, the appointed Heir of everything, for through him God created the panorama of all things and all time.
The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image!
He holds the universe together and expands it by the mighty power of his spoken word. He accomplished for us the complete cleansing of sins, and then took his seat on the highest throne at the right hand of the majestic One.”
Matthew 11:27-30 (TPT) (Jesus speaking)
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”
Philippians 2:5-9 (TPT)
“And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation. He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion! Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names!”
Jesus’ disciples thought it was beneath Him to be bothered with children (“the least of these”), but see His response:
Mark 10:13-16 (TPT)
“The parents kept bringing their little children to Jesus so that he would lay his hands on them and bless them. But the disciples kept rebuking and scolding the people for doing it. When Jesus saw what was happening, he became indignant with his disciples and said to them, “Let all the little children come to me and never hinder them! Don’t you know that God’s kingdom realm exists for such as these? Listen to the truth I speak: Whoever does not open their arms to receive God’s kingdom like a teachable child will never enter it.” Then he embraced each child, and laying his hands on them, he lovingly blessed each one.”
Jesus perfectly imaged His Father’s humble heart through His life, service, and sacrifice on the Cross. (John 13:2-17)
John 13:3-5 (NASB)
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”
John 3:16-17 (NET)
“For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him”
As we can see, humility has nothing to do with weakness, but with the willingness to love and serve others out of who we are and what we have to share. And a powerful way to serve others is through speaking a “blessing” that flows from the heart of Father God.
Let us return to the Garden:
Look! What do we see?
As the first man and woman stand together, perhaps holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes with wonder and joy, the Son of God reaches out His hands, and with His touch and words, releases a Father’s blessing of favor and empowerment, that they may prosper (be fruitful and multiply) in all they do. He reveals and releases their identity and purpose, for which they were created — their mandate.
And, then, just as Jesus did with the children, I believe God gives them both a joyful hug!
God gave us a beautiful picture in Genesis 2 of how His presence and blessing flows in and through us to the world around us. We will take a look at that next time in:
Created in the Image of God: Our Father’s Blessing, Part 2
Now it is your turn:
- Have you thought about the humility of God? No wonder that our own life of humility is so important to Him. Turn your inward focus to Jesus as you meditate on Matthew 11:27-30. Ask Holy Spirit to help you experience the gentleness and humility of Jesus as you spend time in His Presence. Rest in His love. Ask Him questions and become aware of how He responds and answers you.
- Still yourself before the Lord and ask Him to show you how His blessing looks in your own life. Write down what He reveals to you.
- Respond with thankfulness, praise, and worship.
- In Acts 17:26 we read: “and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,…”. I have heard it said that God created each one of us for the time and place that you are living, “for such a time as this”. Ask Him for further revelation as to how He has blessed you, with your unique personality, gifting and positioning, to become a blessing for others: your family, friends, community, country, and the creation around you.
Resources and further information:
- “Blessed to Bless” by Patricia King https://store.patriciakingministries.com/products/blessed-to-bless-book-ebook-by-patricia-king?variant=943262133
- “Dreams & Mysteries – The Mystery of the Father’s Blessing” by John Paul Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1GdgDw7H8g
- Hebrew and Greek words and their meanings were taken from www.blueletterbible.org
- Abbreviations for Bible translations, as used at www.biblegateway.com
- NASB = New American Standard Bible
- TPT = The Passion Translation
- NET = New English Translation
- NKJV = New King James Version
- Letter colors: Green = what the author is sharing as she meditates on the scripture and receives from Holy Spirit