The Old Testament Concept of Blessing.
“Bless” (Heb. – “barak”) means “to endue with power for success, prosperity, longevity, etc.” In essence, the one who is blessed is given a rich and materially abundant life. Yet God is recognized as the only source of blessing. – Richard’s Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, pp. 130, 132. When people blessed or pronounced a blessing upon another person, it was a prayer or wish with the thought or hope that God would prosper the individual materially. When people bless God, it was equivalent to praising or speaking well of God – Vine, Unger, and White’s, A Dictionary of Biblical Words, p. 30.
“Bless” (Heb. – “ashar” or “ashere”) can mean “happy”.
Gen. 1:22 What did God bless (give power for continuance and multiplying or for fertility of life) – Gen. 1:21?
Had you ever realized that God blessed (gave the capacity to propagate and increase in numbers to) these water animals and fowls?
Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 20:11 What did the Lord/God bless (give honor or peculiar distinction), and why?
Aren’t you glad that God blessed/honored this day for man’s good in later years so man could rest?
Gen. 12:1-2 Whom will God bless (give success and prosperity)?
What would God do to those (Gen. 12:3) who blessed (wished well to) Abram?
How do you feel about God blessing/prospering those who blessed/wished well Abram, and why?
Gen. 22:17; 24:1 How would God bless (give extremely numerous descendants to and their success in capturing enemy cities) Abraham?
And how had God blessed (given success and prosperity to) Abraham?
[We see that God’s promise to bless Abraham in 12:2 came true here.].
Gen. 26:3, 12-14 Who does God promise to bless (give success and prosperity)?
And how had God blessed/prospered him?
[This promise is just to Isaac, not Christians as the context states.].
Gen. 27:1, 4, 7, 22, 27-30; 28:3 Whom did Isaac want to bless (give a parting wish for success that was prophetic in nature)?
Who ended up receiving Isaac’s blessing (wish/prediction of success and prosperity both materially and physically)?
Gen. 49:28 Whom did Jacob bless (give a parting wish for success and prosperity from God that was prophetic in nature)?
How did Jacob determine the content of his blessing upon each of the 12 tribes of Israel?
Deut. 8:10 When were the Israelites to bless (praise, speak well of) God, and for what?
Do you ever bless/praise the Lord?
If so, for what?
Deut. 10:8; 21:5 Who were to bless (wish prosperity or some benefit) in the Lord’s name?
Have you ever asked God to bless/prosper anyone?
If so, how often do you do so?
Deut. 28:1, 12 When would the Lord bless (give success and prosperity to) all the work of the Israelite’s hand?
Do you think that God would do the same for you if you obeyed all the commands He’s given you?
1 Chron. 29:10 In the sight of whom did David bless (praise; speak well of) the Lord?
Do you ever bless/praise the Lord in the sight/presence of a lot of people?
If so, when, and why?
Psa. 29:11 With what will the Lord bless (give a benefit to) His people?
Has the Lord blessed/given benefit to you with this?
If so, how and when?
Psa. 66:8; 96:2; 103:1-2 What does the Psalmist tell the peoples to do?
Are you blessing (praising; speaking well of) God?
If so, how often?
Psa. 115:13 Whom will the Lord bless (prosper)?
Are you fearing the Lord?
If so, how (Prov. 8:13; Deut. 17:19)?
Prov. 3:33 What/whom does the Lord bless (give protection, peace, and contentment)?
Has this been true of you?
If so, in what way(s)?
“Bless” (Heb. – “ashar” or “ashere”) can mean “declare happy” or is “happy”.
Psa. 1:1-2 Who is blessed/happy?
Has delighting and meditating in the law of the Lord (God’s Word, the Bible), as well as avoiding all evil influences resulted in your being blessed/happy?
If so, why do you think it’s so?
Psa. 40:4; 84:12 Who is said to be blessed/happy?
Has trusting in God to deliver you from some uncontrollable dilemma or for various things He’s promised to Christians in the Bible ever resulted in your being blessed/happy?
If so, when?
Psa. 41:1 Who else is blessed/happy?
Has happiness ever resulted from your being merciful, sympathetic, kind, considerate, and concerned for people who are helpless/afflicted/weak?
Psa. 84:4-5 Who is blessed/happy?
Like those who dwell in God’s house (e.g., ministers, full-time religious workers), are you happy/blessed serving God full-time in Christian work (or would you be, if presently you’re not in full-time Christian work)?
Have you experienced happiness when you’ve looked to God for your strength to carry on in seeking God and the pursuit of obedience in the Christian life?
Psa. 94:12 Who else is blessed/happy?
Has happiness ever resulted from your being disciplined by God through His using persecution or suffering from the hands of evil people (and then you understood God’s ways and methods of helping you as you read the Bible)?
Psa. 106:3 Who is also blessed/happy?
If you’re not happy, could it be because you’re not doing what’s right at all times, but are doing wrong at times?
Psa. 112:1; 128:1 Who is blessed/happy?
Has delighting in (obeying) God’s commands in the Bible given you happiness?
Psa. 119:1-2 Now who is said to be blessed/happy?
Has your obedience to and seeking of God (pursuing a close relationship with Him) brought you happiness?
Why do you think that is?
The New Testament Concept of Blessing.
“Blessed” (Gk. – “makarios”) means “happy” or “fortunate” (Richard’s Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 131).
Matt. 5:3-11 What nine types of people are declared blessed (happy or fortunate)?
Have you ever been happy because you were poor in spirit (recognized your spiritual poverty or sinfulness and need for Christ and therefore accepted Him as your Savior)?
Or, have you ever been happy because you were comforted after mourning (being in anguish for sin which resulted in confession and repentance)?
Or, have you ever been happy for any of the other seven reasons?
If so, which?
Matt. 11:6 Who is blessed/happy?
Have you experienced happiness because you haven’t stumbled (failed to recognize and accept Jesus Christ as your Messiah/Savior)?
Lk. 11:28 Who else is blessed/happy?
Are you happy/blessed because you are obeying God’s Word, the Bible?
Lk. 14:13-14 Who will be blessed/happy?
When will we be repaid if we invite these kinds of people to a reception?
Will you be one of those who gets repaid there?
John 20:29 Who is blessed/happy?
Is it better to believe God because He says something is true or because you physically saw that it was true, and why?
Acts 20:35 What is more blessed/advantageous/beneficial?
Have you experienced this truth?
If so, why do you think this is the case?
Rom. 4:7-8 Have you been blessed/happy for the reasons stated here?
What can a non-Christian do to experience this (Acts 10:43; 15:9; 4:12)?
What can a Christian do to experience this (1 Jn. 1:9)?
Titus 2:13 Who is looked to as the blessed (happiness imparting) hope?
Does looking to and thinking about Christ’s physical return to earth produce happiness in you, and why?
James 1:12 Who is blessed/happy?
Has your perseverance through trials produced happiness in your life?
James 1:25 Who will be blessed/happy in what he does?
Did you know that happiness is closely connected to obedience to the Bible?
Has it been true in your experience?
Rev. 1:3 Who else is blessed/happy?
Has your reading or hearing and obeying the words in the book of Revelation brought you happiness?
Rev. 14:13 Who is blessed/happy now?
Is this how you view your death, and why?
Rev. 20:6 Who else is blessed/happy?
Are you happy about this because it will be true of you?
“Blessed” (Gk. – “eulogetos”) means “praised” and is applied only to God (Vine, Unger, and White’s, p. 125).
1 Pet. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:3 Why should God be blessed/praised?
Are you blessing/praising God for His mercy in saving you and His present comfort?
“Blessed” (Gk. – “eulogeo”) means “praise” (Vine, Unger, and White’s, p. 124).
James 3:9 Whom do we bless/praise with our tongue?
For what do you bless/praise God, and why?
Matt. 21:9; Jn. 12:13 To whom did the multitudes of Jews say, “Blessed is He…?
Have you ever said of Jesus, “Blessed/praised/honored is He”?
If so, when, or if not, and why?
“Bless” (Gk. – “eulogeo”) means “to consecrate (set apart for God; make sacred or holy) a thing with solemn prayers”, or “to speak well of” (Vine, Unger, and White’s, p. 124).
Lk. 9:16; Matt. 14:19 What did Jesus bless (give thanks for – Matt. 15:36; Jn. 6:11)?
Do you bless (give thanks to God for) the food that you eat?
Matt. 26:26 What did Jesus do after a blessing (giving thanks – 1 Cor. 11:24)?
Do you bless (give thanks to God for) Jesus for sacrificing His body (shedding His blood) to pay for your sins so that you could be forgiven and go to heaven?
1 Cor. 10:16 What is the cup of blessing (the wine or grape juice consecrated or set apart for holy use symbolic of) which believers bless (give thanks for)?
Have you ever blessed (given thanks to God for) the cup of grape juice when taking the Lord’s supper (communion), realizing that it symbolized a sharing in the blood of Christ (benefiting from His shed blood as payment for your sins)?
Mk. 10:13, 16 Who does Jesus bless (consecrate; set apart for holy use)?
If you were a parent, would you want your child blessed (consecrated; set apart for God’s use) rather than wanting your child to grow up to be rich and prosperous in secular pursuits and self-centered, worldly goals and attainments, and why?
“Bless” (Gk. – “eulegeo”) means “to prosper” (Vine, Unger, and White’s, p. 125).
Gal. 3:9 Who are blessed (spiritually benefited) with Abraham?
Because of your faith in Jesus Christ, do you plan to be blessed (spiritually benefited) with justification (salvation)?
Acts 3:26 How was Israel first to experience God’s blessing (spiritual prosperity or benefits) through Jesus?
As a non-Jew, are you, secondly, experiencing the blessing (spiritual benefit) of having been turned from your wicked ways through acceptance of Jesus as your Savior and Lord?
Eph. 1:3 With what has God blessed (benefited; prospered) Christians?
Are you convinced that as a Christian, if you are, you have been benefited/prospered with every spiritual blessing/benefit/enrichment (e.g., justification, adoption, redemption, sanctification, glorification, immortality, etc.) in Christ, and why?
“Blessing” (Gk. – “eulogia”) means “good speaking” or “a benefit bestowed” (Vine, Unger, and White’s, p. 125).
Gal. 3:13-14 On what basis do Christians receive the blessing/benefit of Abraham (i.e., justification by faith) and the Holy Spirit?
Have you received the blessing/benefit of justification (being declared righteous) by faith?
How do you know?
1 Cor. 10:14, 16, 20
The cup of blessing (the wine or grape juice representing the blood of Jesus and the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross) which we bless (consecrate with thanks) is a sharing in (an act of joint participation in) the blood of Christ (i.e., involves fellowship in the Being to whom the worship is directed or identification with Christ). Eating meat in the pagan temple that had been sacrificed to an idol would constitute what – 1 Cor. 10:20?
Have you realized how serious an act taking communion (the Lord’s supper) is?
Heb. 6:7 What receives a blessing/benefit from God?
Had you realized that ground which is fertile and fruitful (bears crops) is blessed /benefited of God?
For whom was it too late to inherit the blessing (earthly and material benefits/prosperity – Gen. 27:28-29) because he found no place for repentance (he didn’t change his thinking regarding his willful sin, Heb. 12:16)?
Has your decision to indulge in immediate pleasure and worldly gratification ever robbed you of future spiritual benefits/blessings?
If so, what happened?
James 3:10 From where do both blessing (speaking good; praising) and cursing come?
Have you learned to tame/control your tongue/mouth so that you don’t praise/bless God one minute and then curse (wish evil against) people or even God the next, especially when things don’t go your way?
1 Pet. 3:9 Why should we give a blessing to (speak well of) those who insult or do evil to us?
Are you going to inherit a blessing (benefit from God) for doing this?
Rev. 5:11-12 Who is worthy to receive blessing/praise?
Why is Christ, the Lamb, worthy to receive praise/blessing?
“Blessed” (Gk. – “eneulogeomai”) means “be well spoken of by” (Vine, Unger, and White’s, p. 125).
Gal. 3:7-8 Who would be blessed (well spoken of, that is, justified by faith) in Abraham?
Are you one of those who are blessed/justified in Abraham because of your faith in Jesus Christ?
“Bless” (Gk. – “eulogeo”) means to speak well of, or invoke a blessing upon a person (Vine, Unger, and White’s, p. 124).
Lk. 6:27-28 Whom are we to bless (speak well of)?
Have you ever blessed (spoken well of or asked God to prosper) those who have cursed (wished evil upon) you?
If so, when and why?
Rom. 12:14 What are we commanded to do?
Have you ever blessed (spoken well of) those who have persecuted you for your Christianity?
1 Cor. 4:11-12 When did Paul and Sosthenes bless (speak well of or implore good upon) others?
Do you bless (speak well of) those who revile (verbally abuse) you?
If so, how?
Or, do you ask the Lord to bless/prosper those who abuse you verbally?