Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – November 22, 2015
Theme: Heroes of Faith
Topic: The Spirit-inspired Blessing
Main Texts: Genesis 27:27-40; Numbers 22:1-18
Key Verse: Hebrews 11:20-21 –“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their
future. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as
he leaned on the top of his staff.” (NIV)
Last Sunday, in our study of Blessing By Faith, we saw how Isaac and Jacob exercised the authority God gave them to pronounce blessings by faith. Our key learning points from that study include:
Pronouncing a blessing on a person is a form of prophecy. It differs from praying for the person in that praying asks God to do something, while blessing is a direct exercise of the authority God has bestowed on the Christian to bless.
Pronouncing a blessing is serious business, beyond the casual “God bless you”. Because God has empowered His children to pronounce blessings, we should expect our blessings to have an effect.
The words of blessing pronounced by a God-fearing parent to his or her child is powerful because God honours those words. In pronouncing such blessings, the parent speaks as an oracle.
This Sunday, we will continue our discussion on Blessing by Faith under the topic Spirit-Inspired Blessing, focusing on the actual contents of the blessings we pronounce. Our learning from this study should include the following:
If we expect our pronouncement of blessing to be effective, it must be thought through, truly inspired by God and consistent with God’s revealed word.
The recipient of the pronouncement of a blessing has responsibility for co-operating with God for actualisation of the blessing. We have noted that the Christian is empowered to pronounce blessings and that pronouncement of a blessing is a form of prophecy. We will now look at the nature of blessings, or whether we can pronounce just about any good wishes that come to mind. Isaac pronounced blessings on Jacob, thinking he was blessing Esau. Before Esau and Jacob were born, the Lord had said concerning them: “… the older shall serve the younger” – Gen 25:23. Isaac certainly did not mean to support that prophecy. He wanted to bless Esau and, thinking it was Esau before him, said: “Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.”
1) From the story of Isaac’s blessing of Jacob and Esau, and of Balak and Balaam, what are some constraints of blessings that we may pronounce on others? In Gen 27:36-40 we see Esau pleading with his father for at least some blessing too. Isaac however said he hardly had any more blessings to give, and went on to pronounce some “not-so-
blessed” blessing on Esau. Clearly, the people of old took blessings seriously and believed that words of blessing must not be contradictory. If Isaac had pronounced on Esau the same blessings he had pronounced on Jacob, he would have contradicted himself.
2) Does one that wants to pronounce a blessing need to first think through what he would say? If so, what does he or she need to factor into his or her pronouncement? In Numbers 22 we see God resort to extraordinary measures to stop Balaam from cursing the Israelites as requested by Balak. God physical blocked an ass and made it speak. We probably do not see such extraordinary situations today. In most cultures it is believed that whatever one who has authority over another has the power to pronounce binding blessings and curses on the subordinate.
3) Give examples of situations where God might disallow or render ineffective a blessing or a curse even when administered by one so empowered by Him over the recipient.
4) Are there responsibilities on the recipient of a Spirit-inspired blessing for the actualisation of the blessing? Discuss this in the light of a parent blessing his child.
Father, the power to bless which you have given me would only be effective when used within your will. Help
me exercise that power entirely within your perfect will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.