Blessing Others

May all who hate Zion
    be turned back in shame.
May those who pass by not say to them,
    “The blessing of the Lord be on you;
    we bless you in the name of the Lord.”

Psalm 129:5,8

There is something significant about speaking out blessings. Or withholding them if appropriate. There is power in the spoken word. We can bless people in different ways. Practically by an act of kindness. Verbally by a kind word. But there is something special about speaking out a blessing from God. In fact, it is so special that we don’t want to waste the words or the sentiments on people who would not appreciate it. In this Psalm, the writer mourns the ill-treatment that Israel has been subjected to, and reminds his readers not to bless those who hate them, their treasured Zion, and who are wicked.

But the society in which the Psalmist lived was well used to speaking out blessings on each other. And this is something we need to do more of in our societies today. Not only can a blessing be just that when spoken over God’s people. It can also be a form of encouragement for people who are harassed, lonely, miserable, and neglected. People who we meet in the street, the supermarket checkout, the petrol station, or, as I have found recently, the electric vehicle charge points in a car park. The blessing we speak out need not be anything more than a kind word, or a “good morning”. Just something that shows a fellow member of our society that we care for them. That’s a real blessing from God. 

There is a lovely blessing recorded in Numbers 6. It is so significant that I added it to my business card. I speak it out over all my readers today.

“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”

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