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The Blessing of the LORD: Introduction

March 18, 2022
Dr. Mary Craig

Humans are blessed at the beginning (Gen 1:22, 28); they forfeit that blessing through their rebellion (Gen 3); and then God blesses humans when he seeks reconciliation through Abraham and his descendants (Gen 12:1-3). The book of Genesis lays the foundation for all of the history of redemption, and the story continues throughout the rest of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Genesis 1:20
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. KJV

21So God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters teemed according to their kinds, and every bird of flight after its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22Then God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23And there was evening, and there was morning-the fifth day. Berean

And God (Elohim) blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. Genesis 1:22, KJV
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:28 KJV

Verse 22. - And God blessed them. To bless is to wish well to (Genesis 27:4; Numbers 6:23). In the case of God blessing inanimate things, it signifies to make them to prosper and be abundant (Exodus 23:25; Job 1:10; Psalm 65:11). The nature of the blessing pronounced upon the animal creation had reference to their propagation and increase. Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. The par onomastic [word play] combination, be fruitful and multiply, became a regular formula of blessing (cf. Genesis 24:60; Genesis 35:11; Genesis 48:4; Psalm 128:3, 4). The Divine benediction was not simply a wish; but, adds Calvin, "by the bare intimation of his purpose he effects what men seek by entreaty." Nor was it meaningless that the words of benediction were addressed to the creatures; it was designed to teach that the "force of the Divine word was not meant to be transient, but, being infused into their natures, to take root and constantly bear fruit" (Calvin). (Pulpit Commentary)

Multiply - to become much, many, or great

27So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth." Genesis 1:27, 28 Berean

Genesis 5:2
Male and female He created them, and He blessed them. And in the day they were created, He called them "man."

Genesis 8:17
Bring out all the living creatures that are with you--birds, livestock, and everything that crawls upon the ground--so that they can spread out over the earth and be fruitful and multiply upon it."

Genesis 9:1
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 9:7
But as for you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out across the earth and multiply upon it."

Leviticus 26:9
I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will establish My covenant with you.
And what is to be our response to this blessing of the Lord?
Psalm 69:34 Job had called on heaven and earth to sympathize with him in his distress (Job 16:18, 19), so David would have them to partake in his joy at his deliverance.
Psalm 148:1
Hallelujah! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise Him in the highest places.

Isaiah 44:23
Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, O depths of the earth. Break forth in song, O mountains, you forests and all your trees. For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and revealed His glory in Israel.

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; break forth in song, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, and He will have compassion on His afflicted ones.

Isaiah 55:12
You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Sing, shout for joy, sing to the Lord a new song. Let's be glad in our hearts as we join together with the creation to praise Him from Psalm 96, 97, and 98.

We will see how, from the Covenant of Creation a/k/a the Adamic covenant, to the New Covenant in Christ's Blood, the Living God works through covenant to form relationship with His creation and with the people He calls to live in covenantal relationship with Him. He blesses through His commandments, imperatives, like: Let light be. Jesus calls God's commandment life in John 12:50. In John 12, Jesus predicted His own death. He would be lifted up, death by crucifixion. But the people challenged Jesus and many did not believe. Some, however, did believe. Let's get this in context.

27Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 28Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. 30Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. 31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33This he said, signifying what death he should die. 34The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? 35Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 36While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.


The Unbelief of the People

37But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
Some Believe in Jesus

42Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

44Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 46I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. KJV

We will be exploring what it means to be blessed. We will, in the process, likewise explore the favor of the Lord. We will put the Living, Sovereign, and Supreme God in His place and ourselves in our place. Hopefully, we will come to understand the role of obedience and the hope we call the Blessed Hope and this life of which Jesus says, "I know that His commandment is life everlasting." It might be a long journey; but it just might further our lifelong repentance unto life. We will need the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to us and to grant us wisdom that we might walk in wisdom in our days.

Bibliography: https://biblehub.com/kjv/john/12.htm

THE BLESSING OF THE LORD: INTRODUCTION

March 18, 2022

Study Questions:

Question 1: What did God bless in Genesis 1:22 and Genesis 1:28? In what form was this blessing? What does it mean "to bless"? Look up Genesis 27:4; Numbers 6:23; Exodus 23:25; Job 1:10; Psalm 65:11; Psalm 128:3, 4). What happened to the "be fruitful and multiply" blessing of the Lord as time went on? Look up "bear much fruit" in the NT and give two examples, e.g. John 15:1, 2, 8, 16.

Question 2. What is the Creation Mandate? (Genesis 1:28) Humans are blessed at the beginning (Gen 1:22, 28). How did they forfeit that blessing? (Genesis 3) What was God seeking through Abraham and his descendants? (Genesis 12:1-3). The book of Genesis lays the foundation for all of the history of redemption, and this story continues throughout the rest of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Question 3. Look up Leviticus 26:9; (Job 16:18, 19); Psalm 69:34. Comment on the power and force of the blessing of the Lord. How might this strengthen one's praise and gratitude for God's faithfulness?

Question 4. What should be our response to the blessing of the Lord? Psalm 148:1; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13.

Question 5. Have someone declare out either Psalm 96, 97, or 98.

Question 6. "From the Covenant of Creation a/k/a the Adamic covenant, to the New Covenant in Christ's Blood, the Living God works through covenant to form relationship with His creation and with the people He calls to live in covenantal relationship with Him. He blesses through His commandments, imperatives, like: Let light be. Jesus calls God's commandment life in John 12." (Dr. Mary Craig) Discuss the impact of God's way of blessing.

Question 7. In John 12, Jesus predicted His own death. He would be lifted up, death by crucifixion. But the people challenged Jesus and many did not believe. Some, however, did believe. Read John 12:44-50. As Prophet, Jesus brings His Father's message. How does Jesus reveal the Father's will and the Father's words to us according to this passage? What reason does Jesus give for us to believe Him? What warning is given? Look up John 3:16, John 17:3m 1 John 3:22. Discuss the earnestness and faithfulness of Jesus to proclaim that in Him is life in the face of all opposition, contempt, and persecution. Look up 1 John 5:11, 12. What ultimately resulted from Jesus' obedience in doing His Father's will?

© 2022 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.

Broken branch with fruit

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