“May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!” (Genesis 27:28–29, esv)
Giving a blessing dates back to Genesis, when God blessed Adam, Noah, and Abraham. Later, Abraham blessed Isaac, Isaac blessed Jacob, and Jacob blessed his twelve sons and two of his grandsons. This gift carries across Scripture and time. And it still matters today, because deep within the heart of every person is a longing for parental approval.
So what does a biblical blessing consist of? It is words and actions that express fondness for, confidence in, and recognition of a specific person. In Old Testament times, the blessing was a bestowal of favor and acceptance, rooted not merely in a child’s appearance or accomplishments but in their very character.
In Genesis 27, Isaac blessed his two sons, Jacob and Esau. Though the story is filled with deception and drama, it provides an enduring model for the five elements of blessing.
1. Meaningful touch. We can’t deny the healing, nurturing, and affirming power of touch, yet it’s often sadly neglected in the home. Isaac’s blessing began by touching Jacob. “Then his father Isaac said to him, ‘Come near and kiss me, my son’” (Genesis 27:26–27a).
2. Spoken words. A blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken. Isaac spoke powerful words over his son: “May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you.”
3. Personal affirmation. Isaac also said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed” (27:27b)! At the heart of a blessing are words that communicate “You matter to us”, “You are special and unique.”
4. Spiritual vision. Our primary vision for those we bless should never be educational, athletic, or social – it should be spiritual. When Isaac asked God to give his son dew, fatness, grain, and wine (27:28), he wasn’t just asking God to feed Jacob. It was a prayer for his son to connect the blessings of life to the Giver.
5. Prosperous expectation. Pray that those you bless will succeed by kingdom standards, wisely steward what they have for Christ’s kingdom, and master the hardships of life, rather than be mastered by them. Thus Isaac prayed for his son to “be lord over” others, rather than enslaved by them.
You may have never received approval from your parents. You can either use that as an excuse to withhold blessing from your children, or break the chains of the past and give this powerful gift to the next generation.
If you do not have children of your own, you are still in a position to meet this God-given need in someone’s life.
Those who are mature in the Lord have a responsibility to share biblical blessings with others. It may be the perfect gift for someone you love.
Lord, thank You for loving and affirming me as Your child. I need that in my life! Thank You for being such a tender Father. Help me recognize opportunities to convey blessing to others—especially the children in my life. May I convey and confirm that You have a unique vision for their lives. Help me to give this blessing to those I love. I pray this in the strong name of Jesus, whom You blessed with the words, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17b). Amen.