Family Life Course Lecture 4 Guide

“Identity and Blessing in Genesis and The Jewish Culture of Blessing”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 
IDENTITY AND BLESSING: GOD’S GIFTS AT CREATION
 

— IDENTITY

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 — BLESSING

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

RESTORATION OF IDENTITY AND BLESSING THROUGH ABRAHAM

·         Genesis 12:2-3 (ESV)
“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF “BLESSING”

(1)    AFFIRMATION: to affirm the worth or identity of another; to honor;

(2)    IMPARTATION: to empower to succeed, prosper or multiply; to empower another to successfully fulfill his/her unique purpose and potentials given by God

The first definition relates to one’s IDENTITY; the second, to one’s DESTINY.

·         “Identity” – Who am I? (my self-perception, often determined by how others see us)

·         “Destiny” – What was I meant to become? (what God meant you to become later on, because of your God-given gifts and potentials)

·         HOW WE SEE OURSELVES (OUR IDENTITY) AFFECTS OUR PERFORMANCE AND RELATIONSHIPS, AND ULTIMATELY, OUR DESTINY.

THE POWER OF BLESSING

Blessing empowers us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; cursing cripples us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

 Blessing or honor empowers us in three ways:

(1)    It affirms our sense of self-worth and belongingness and thereby enabling us to accept, appreciate, and respect ourselves.

(2)    It builds confidence in our capacity for doing (success) and becoming (destiny).

(3)    It helps release our potentials as it gives us confidence to overcome barriers and challenges in relationships and performance.

The Picasso Principle

•    When asked about the secret of his greatness, the great painter Pablo Picasso replied:

“When I was child, my mother said to me, ‘Son, if you become a soldier, you will surely become a general! If you become a monk, you will surely end up as the Pope!’ I became a painter, and I end up as a Picasso.”

BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF “CURSE”

(1) to degrade the worth or identity of another; to dishonor;

(2) to cripple or weaken from succeeding or prospering; to cripple or weaken another from successfully fulfilling his/her unique purpose and potentials given by God

•    A CURSED IDENTITY OFTEN LEADS TO FAILURE IN DESTINY.

•    Because curses – and the resulting deep sense of shame they bring – cause us to degrade or look down on ourselves or others, they cripple our capacity for successful relationships and performance, both of which are essential to the success of our destiny. They also deprive us of God’s blessings inasmuch as our parents failed to bless us or pronounce God’s blessings on our lives.

 THE POWER OF THE CURSE

Blessing empowers us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; cursing cripples us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

Cursing or dishonor cripples us in three ways:

(1)    It damages our sense of self-worth and belongingness and leads us to reject, degrade and despise or ourselves.

(2)    It diminishes confidence in our capacity for doing (success) and becoming (destiny).

(3)    It suppresses our potentials as it builds barriers by instilling fear and insecurity in relationships and performance.

•      Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ (‘good for nothing!’ or ‘wala kang kuenta!’) is answerable to the Sanhedrin (supreme court). But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ (or ‘ulol, tanga!’) will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

•       James 3:9-10
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

•      Matthew 12:36-37
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

JEWISH CULTURE OF BLESSING

•    INTRODUCTION: The story of Craig Hill and the Culture of Blessing in Jewish Families and Communities

•    Craig Hill is the founder of Family Foundations, International, and is the author of the best-selling book, The Ancient Paths, and a host of other family publications and media

 THE SEVEN CRITICAL TIMES OF BLESSING IN A PERSON’S LIFE

(1)       CONCEPTION

A blessed conception is one that is wanted, accepted and well received. It occurs between two people in a covenant marriage relationship. It occurs out of love, not physical lust.

A cursed conception is one that is not wanted, accepted or well received. It is resented as an intrusion into the lives of the parents. It may occur outside marriage and as a result of lust.

 (2)       PREGNANCY

A blessed pregnancy is one that is wanted, accepted and well received. There is a lack of emotional stress and turmoil. The child experiences nurturing and love from the mother. The child’s arrival is greatly anticipated.

(3)       BIRTH

A blessed birth is one where the sex or gender of the child is received as a gift from God and it is not a disappointment that the child is male or female. The child is received, loved and nurtured by both parents. The birth process is free from trauma.

The birth process was extra special in the Jewish culture, Not only was the family excited, so was the community. The parents prayed over the child and asked God for the name of the child. They understood that a child’s destiny was in that name. Since they would be saying that name hundreds of times, they wanted to be speaking destiny over the child each time they called the child by name. The name was given in a ceremony on the eighth day, along with circumcision, if the child was a boy.

 (4)       INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD

A blessed infancy is one where the child is accepted, loved and nurtured. The child is breast-fed and close bonding with the mother occurs. The father shows physical affection and bonding relationship with the child. The child is blessed regularly by the father (Jewish blessing of children by the father on the eve of the Sabbath every week). When applying correction and discipline, parents separate identity and behavior and do not curse the child in their correction of the child’s behavior.

When the child feels rejected or cursed in the early stages (conception, pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood) the potential result is that the child continues to live with deep feelings of rejection, depression, fear, lust, irrational anger, guilt, shame, and self-contempt.

(5)       PUBERTY

A blessed puberty is one where both parents can separate identity from behavior in dealing with the child’s misbehaviors as he/she engages in the psychological and emotional struggles of his developing teenage life. The relationship between the child and parents facilitates a free sharing of feelings and emotions, without condemnation or rejection as guidance is provided by the parents.

The father provides blessing and acceptance which enables the child to move from needing the mother’s bonding into a more responsible adult role. The child is initiated by the parents and community into his/her adult destiny (Jewish Bar-Mitzvah). The manhood or womanhood is blessed and released by the parents over the child. Security in becoming an adult is established.

The experience of rejection or lack of a father’s love in puberty can result in rebellion, deep sense of insecurity with oneself that can affect relationships and performance, gender confusion, retention of identity with the mother, or life-long unrest in the soul and quest to find or prove one’s worth and identity, because the father failed to affirm the identity of the child at this stage.

 (6)       MARRIAGE

A blessed marriage is one where the son or daughter is blessed by parents in marriage. The parents and the son/daughter are in agreement about the marriage partner and the timing of the wedding. The wedding is attended and blessed by both sets of parents.

The lack of blessing from a parent or parents creates a bondage in the soul with that parent or those parents (a “soul tie”) and a root of bitterness or guilt. That unbroken soul tie will keep the married person from functioning successfully in his/her marriage, as the bitterness or guilt with the parents will damage relationships with the spouse and children due to unrest in the soul caused by a cursed identity and desire to prove one’s worth in the family relationships.

 (7)       OLD AGE

A blessed older age is one where the children regularly bless their parents later in life. This completes the cycle of blessing.

A lack of blessing from children or grandchildren in one’s advanced years leads to deep feeling of loneliness, abandonment, rejection, failure and resentment.

It is obvious that a person raised with these blessings would have solid roots of identity and a sense of being wanted, accepted and worthwhile, and not have a sense of being abandoned or rejected.

A child who is loved, accepted and wanted would have a healthy image of himself. He would not need to perform to gain acceptance or to prove personal value (that is, he won’t develop an unhealthy “performance drive” to prove his worth or gain acceptance from others). Life could be spent being the unique person he was created to be and developing into what he was meant to become. A child raised in that environment would not fear, resent, or avoid correction. Correction would be seen as a way to keep him on track with the blessing and to train him for his destiny.

ISRAEL’S PRACTICE OF BLESSING IN THE FAMILY

•    Genesis 31:55
Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them.

•    1 Chronicles 16:43
Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

•    Genesis 27:33
(Isaac said regarding Jacob, his son) “I blessed him– and indeed he will be blessed!”

•    Genesis 49:28
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

•    Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me …” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

•    Deuteronomy 33:1-3, 27-29

This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. He said, “The LORD came from Sinai 

and dawned from Seir upon us;
he shone forth from Mount Paran;
he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
with flaming fire at his right hand.

“Yes, he loved his people,
all his holy ones were in his hand;
so they followed in your steps,
receiving direction from you …

[Blessing of each tribe follows]

“The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
And he thrust out the enemy before you
and said, Destroy.

“So Israel lived in safety,
Jacob lived alone,
in a land of grain and wine,
whose heavens drop down dew.

“Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD,
the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
and you shall tread upon their backs.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s