November 2011 Newsletter
Restoring the Ancient Jewish Blessings
Warren Marcus blesses his grandson, Ocean.
God is restoring today what the church has been robbed of for centuries, but what the Jewish patriarchs and Jesus understood well — the power of blessings. I have studied the ancient blessings for over 30 years. A friend who was a Jewish rabbi taught me the foundations. Then the Holy Spirit opened up these ancient blessings from a New Covenant perspective.
I saw that Jesus began His ministry by speaking a series of blessings over His disciples saying that they were “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world,” though at the time they were neither. He saw them not as they were, but as they were destined to become.
Jesus’ ministry began and ended with blessings. His first teaching was on the subject of blessings which we call the Beatitudes. The last thing Jesus spoke as He was ascending into heaven was a blessing. Most likely it was the blessing God commanded Moses to have Aaron and his sons speak over the people: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26). What Jesus said released upon them the special favor that God intended for them. That’s our model. When blessings are released upon us or by us, it makes a tremendous difference in our lives.
When Israel came out of Egypt, they were a nation of slaves who had been cursed and abused for four hundred years. God changed them from having no self-esteem to having great confidence in God and in themselves. He did so by giving them Three Pillars of Faith: The blood atonement to deliver them from bondage; the moral code which is the Ten Commandments; and the High Priestly blessing to release God’s favor upon them. The church today has a good understanding of the blood covenant and the moral code, but we have been missing the power of blessings. Many believers struggle because the favor of God does not rest on them. He wants families to be united and to have favor in their health and finances. Speaking blessings will accomplish this.
As people understand this biblical truth, even children, they start fulfilling their God-given destiny. We have story after story of failed relationships, broken marriages, unsuccessful businesses, children estranged from parents, sicknesses of all kinds, turned around for good when blessings are released. One young boy was failing the seventh grade for the second time and nothing helped. He was taught how to bless his teachers, and his parents were taught how to speak blessings over him. In a short time, his grades improved and he became a star pupil. Another man’s business kept failing. He read about the blessing and went to his estranged father asking him to speak blessings over him. It restored their relationship and almost immediately the man’s business began to prosper. One woman had a mark on her forehead in the shape of a “V” like a birthmark. Her mother told her it was because she was cursed and was an unwanted baby. Her husband began to speak blessings over her nightly to exchange the curses for blessings, and the mark began to fade until it was gone completely from her forehead. The emotional pain also left her heart.
There are two kinds of curses in the Bible. One is the result of breaking God’s commandments. That curse is broken by the atonement of the blood of Jesus. The second is a spoken curse that can only be broken with spoken blessings. When I teach on how to bless your children, how spouses can speak blessings over one another, how to bless your employees or employer, and how to break curses through blessings, I see the redemptive power of God’s blessings overtake people and change their situations and their lives.
I began to learn about the verbal blessing after my father passed away. I was with my brother who was not at all interested in the Lord. Since my dad was no longer with us, I decided to ask my brother to speak the blessing over me. I said, “God will release the blessings upon me that I have written down if you will speak them over me.” He said he would. I got down on my knees to receive the blessing and he began to cry. I felt his tears on my shoulders. When he got through blessing me, he said, “Now do it to me.” I spoke blessings for him and for God to reveal Himself to him. In time, he gave his heart to the Lord. God used the blessing to transform his life. After he prayed for me I began to have favor from God as never before.
Certain people in your life have a position of authority from God to release blessings upon you, even if they are not interested in the things of God. When my brother spoke the blessings over me, God was present and He did exactly what He said He would do. He is faithful to His Word when we use it as He meant for it to be used.
If your father is dead or won’t speak blessings over you and there’s no one else to do it in your family, ask your pastor or someone you respect who has some authority in your life to speak a blessing over you. Everyone is deficient without the blessings spoken over their lives. My wife and I bless each other every morning and it has made the difference in our ability to bond. We spoke blessings over our sons before they went to school. Today, one is a state senator and the other works with me in ministry. It is our joy, now that they are grown, when they speak blessings over us.
Bill and Dorothy Jean Ligon make it a practice to bless each other daily.
Perhaps someone is a single person who has no one to bless them. One lady in her mid-thirties had become very obese. As we talked, I observed, “You’ve been speaking curses over yourself, calling yourself a fat person and speaking negatively about yourself to yourself.” I taught her how to speak blessings over herself while standing in front of a mirror. “After all, if you can speak curses over yourself, you can speak blessings over yourself too,” I said. She began to tell herself, “You are blessed and God created you to be beautiful and slim….” She spoke it daily for months. The next time I saw her she had lost 72 pounds and was indeed blessed.
When God created Adam and Eve, the first thing He did was speak blessings over them saying, “Be fruitful and multiply.” God released to them the power of pro-creation. When my wife and I realized that, we began to bless couples who were barren and couldn’t have children. One couple, forty years of age, had that problem. We spoke the creative blessing over them that God spoke to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:22 and 28. Three days later, they conceived a child. We have 200 “grandchildren” around the country where couples were barren until the blessing of life was spoken over them.
I am convinced that God’s intention in the spoken blessing is to release His favor upon His people. He has given us the opportunity to teach people how to release the blessings. Ask God to show you the potential in your loved ones and others in your life and begin to bless them. Then watch and see God’s favor released into your life! Shalom.
Bill Ligon is founder and senior pastor of Christian Renewal Church in Brunswick, Georgia.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.