I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
Compelled and Comforted
One of the many reasons the narrative of Scripture is so compelling—and strangely comforting—is the often laughably realistic portrayal of the people through whom God chooses to reveal Himself. The Bible is no fairytale or legend starring flawless and unflappable characters. Sometimes, it’s difficult, even amongst the actors themselves, to tell the “good” guy from the villain.
God reveals His truth dimly in types and shadows. We read about a shamefully adulterous king, a philandering judge, and even a whiney and hot-tempered deliverer. He even began planting the seed of a nation who would be His people by making a promise to a Mesopotamian moon worshiper.
Why would God choose to use or to bless any of these people… or even us? What does it mean for them to be “#blessed”?
That None Shall Boast
But Scripture does not record their exploits and epic failures to highlight the flaws and sins of mankind. This no doubt includes both yours and mine. Scripture does this in such a way that none shall boast except in Him; God called them—as He calls us today—to do that which through human effort is otherwise impossible. Christ calls us to die to ourselves. In this, our friends and neighbors, both nearby and to the ends of the earth, might see Him clearly and desire to grow closer to Him.
Genesis 12:2 was then, as it is now, a promise to believe, NOT a command to perform. Now, don’t get me wrong. “Believe” is an active verb. But participation in God’s redemptive story is something we GET to do. It is NOT another obligation wrapped up in and warped by our expectations.
God is the hero of the story. We are the rescued. When we are blessed, God is acting upon us. When we are at our best, God is acting through us. If we can get out of our own way, we will BE all the blessing we can handle. Being “#blessed” is more than simply receiving; it’s being that blessing to others as well.
It’s a question of agency, and it will be the question that Scripture poses to us and that we must consider for the rest of our lives. Are we trusting God, or are we trusting ourselves?
Reflect on, and maybe even write out, some ways God has blessed you. What are you thankful for? Then reflect on or write out ways God has used you to be a blessing to someone else. Pray for clear, open opportunities to be a blessing to your friends and neighbors to show them the love of Jesus.