Our God is the God of blessing, and He is the blessing God. Hidden in Ezekiel 34 there’s something beautiful, a gem: our God is a God of blessing, and He is a blessing God!
In Christianity and in the world this matter of blessing is very much misunderstood and misused, and some even use this term for their benefit and comfort.
We may say with an open heart to the Lord, Lord, bless this meeting! Bless this person! Bless us as we go and do things today! Bless our fellowship! – but what do we really mean by this? What do we want God to do to us or for others when we pray for God’s blessing?
According to the dictionary, blessing refers to a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness, or invoking God’s favor upon a certain person. This is a very natural understanding of blessing; it is not completely wrong, but it is very natural and incomplete.
Blessing is not a thing that God does for us or that He gives to us. Our God is a God of blessing, and He is a blessing God; blessing is not something apart from God – blessing is God Himself.
Just as the grace of Christ denotes that Christ is grace and grace is Christ, the life of God denotes that God is life and life is God, and the love of God denotes that love is God and God is love, so the blessing of God denotes that God is blessing and blessing is God.
The unique and real blessing in the universe is God Himself – blessing is God, and God is a blessing God. Many think that blessing is something from God, something outward that He does or gives to us, something material that He bestows on us and thus He makes us happy.
But what the Bible says concerning blessing, both in the Old and in the New Testament, is that blessing is simply God Himself. Our God is a God of blessing, and He we are under the blessing of God. This week we want to unpack this crystal and explore this rich matter of the God of blessing and the blessing of God.
The Lord Brings us into the Enjoyment of His Blessing and makes us a Source of Blessing
In Ezek. 34:26-27 the Lord promises to bless His people, bringing them under His blessing and under the showers of His blessing, and He also promises to make His people a source of blessing.
Through His shepherding, the Lord brings us into the enjoyment of His blessing and He causes us to become a source of blessing under the showers of blessing. All the physical blessings that God promises to His people, such as fruitfulness, were types of the real spiritual blessings in the New Testament.
First, we ourselves enjoy the Lord’s blessing, and then the Lord will cause us to become a source of blessing to others, so that they also may be supplied (Ezek. 34:26). The source of blessing in the universe is God Himself, and He is going to make us a source of blessing; this means that we become the same as He is in being a blessing, the same as He is in His person of blessing.
The same principle can be seen in John 21: we first need to be shepherded by the Lord, and then we can shepherd others. First we need to be persons enjoying the blessing of God, and the more we enjoy the blessing, the more we become a channel of blessing, even in the sense of being a source of blessing.
God will cause the showers of blessing to come down in their season (Zech. 10:1). Rain or showers in the Bible signifies God’s blessing. The rain in Zech. 10, Psa. 84, and Jer. 5 signifies the blessings coming from the source of God and the heavenlies.
When we have the peace of the covenant, the Lord’s blessing will follow; first we enjoy the Lord’s blessing, and then He causes us to become a source of blessing to others, so that they also may be supplied.
And the more we abide in Christ, the rain – the Holy Spirit – will often come upon us. How we thank the Lord for His shepherding and His covenant of peace! It is He who shepherds us, recovers us, brings us into a covenant of peace with Himself, and then He gives Himself to us as our blessing, even as the showers of blessing.
As we enjoy the Lord as our blessing, as we are blessed with nothing else but the Triune God in Christ as the Spirit, we then become a source of blessing to others, bringing God to man and imparting the Spirit to them for them to gain God and be filled with the Spirit.
Lord, thank You for shepherding us and bringing us into the enjoyment of Your blessing to cause us to become a source of blessing under the showers of blessing! Oh Lord, You are the real and unique blessing in the universe, and we love to be under the showers of blessing every single day! We want to enjoy You as the real blessing, experience You as the God of blessing, and be under the blessing of God. Make us a source of blessing for others so that we may be filled with Your blessing and overflow with blessing, which is God Himself, to others also!
God is a God of Blessing, and He Himself as the Spirit is the Unique Blessing of God
Our God is a God of blessing (see Gen. 1:22, 28; Psa. 115:13). He doesn’t merely “carry out the activity of blessing people”; He blesses people because He is a God of blessing. Blessing is not an activity God engages in – blessing is His very person. As soon as God created man, He began to bless.
In His creation of man, God intended that man might enjoy God as his blessing, but through the fall of Adam, man lost God as his blessing and enjoyment (Gen. 1:28; 3:23-24). Eden was not the blessing to Adam: it was a nice environment, but the real blessing was God Himself.
God created Adam and Eve and blessed them; God’s blessing is nearly always accompanied by His speaking, and when God blesses us, He speaks to us. When God created the animals, there is no blessing; God didn’t bless the cows, the horses, the fish, or the birds, but when He created man, He blessed man.
The qualification to receive God’s blessing is to be a man, for man has something that demands God’s blessing – man has God’s image and likeness to express and represent God. Man has the ability to receive God and express God; God blessed man right after He created him, for He had in view His building.
The main point and consummation of the book of Ezekiel and of the entire Bible is God’s building, His expression in man. God’s blessing promised to Abraham in Gen. 12:3 consists of the blessings of creation and redemption, including all that God wants to give man – God Himself and all that He has in this age and in the age to come.
There are different categories of God’s blessings, and the blessings promised to Abraham consists of the blessings of creation and redemption. Some people enjoy the blessing fo God’s creation but not God’s redemption.
Abraham enjoyed both. God blessed all the families on earth in Abraham’s seed; this means that God promised that He Himself will become available – He will be processed, consummated, and dispensed for every family on earth to receive and enjoy!
This is the blessing that will come through Abraham’s seed, who is Christ. In His preaching the gospel to Abraham, God promised that He would give Himself to the called ones as a blessing (see Gal. 3:8, 14). In giving the promise to Abraham, God announced the gospel to Him; in him all the nations were to be blessed.
In Gal. 3:14 Paul connects the blessing of Abraham and the promise of the Spirit. What God actually promised to Abraham was the Spirit, and this is why we can call it gospel.
Yes, God did promise Abraham a physical land, but is that the gospel? What God was actually promising was the reality of the good land, which is the Spirit. Isaac is a type of Christ, and the reality of Christ is the Spirit, which is the reality of the good land.
According to Gen. 22:18, this blessing would come to all the nations through Abraham’s seed, who is Christ (Matt. 1:; Gal. 3:16). The blessing reaches all the nations through the seed of Abraham, who is Isaac, and the real Isaac is Christ Himself.
The blessing is a Person – when this Person, comes, the blessing comes. Just as in John 1, grace came through Jesus Christ; when we have Christ, we have grace. The blessing comes through Christ as the seed of Abraham – this Person is the blessing, and all the nations on earth are blessed in Christ.
Hallelujah, God’s blessing of Abraham eventually issued in Christ as the unique seed in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed (Acts 3:25-26; Gal. 3:16). We as believers in Christ, as members of the corporate Christ, are included in this seed as heirs of God’s promised blessing (1 Cor. 12:12; Gal. 3:7, 29).
Hallelujah, we who are of faith are the sons of Abraham. The blessing comes through Christ as the one seed of Abraham, but the blessing also comes through the Body of Christ, the many sons of Abraham.
We are the members of the Body of Christ, and we both inherit the blessing and become the blessing. Wherever the saints go on earth, that place is blessed; wherever the sons of Abraham go, the blessing also goes.
Thank You Lord for creating us in Your image and likeness to receive Your blessing and become a blessing to others. Thank You for giving Yourself to us in Christ as the Spirit to be the unique blessing of God. Hallelujah, we today are the sons of Abraham by faith, and we inherit Christ as the Spirit to be our unique blessing. Amen! Thank You Lord for making us a blessed people with a blessing God, enjoying the blessing of God. Amen, Lord, keep us under Your dispensing, receiving and enjoying all that You are into us as our blessing!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Mark Raabe for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msg. 16 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 4 (week 16 in the HWMR), The God of blessing and the blessing of God.
- Hymns on this topic:
# God is a God of blessing and glory. / He is our history; we are His story, / Formed in His image, made to express / His life and nature, all to bless. / Showers of blessing come in their season. / Ask and God comes, abundantly given; / The God of hope fills us with all joy / That we’d abound, His pow’r employ. (Song on God as a God of blessing)
# Is your life a channel of blessing? / Is the love of God flowing through you? / Are you telling the lost of the Savior? / Are you ready His service to do? / Make me a channel of blessing today, / Make me a channel of blessing, I pray; / My life possessing, my service blessing, / Make me a channel of blessing today. (Hymns #928)
# Like father Abraham, / To You, dear Lord, he ran. / Your glory has infused, / Dear Lord, we can’t refuse. / You came to fallen man / As, Lord, the Great I Am. / In us dispensing / The blessing to mankind. (Song on the blessing of Abraham)
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