And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.
I read Deuteronomy 28 this week. As I read, verse 2 jumped out at me with the question, “How does a blessing overtake you?” The wording of this verse conjures up all sorts of visual pictures in my mind. At first, a picture of a police car racing up behind me with its lights flashing and siren blaring, only to race past me much to my relief to either ticket someone else or assist someone in need. Obviously that is an expression of my prohibitive conscience getting the best of me and not what this verse means when it talks about a blessing overtaking me…or passing me!
Yet, the promise of abundant blessing comes to those that follow Him and obey His commandments. If you obey, the results are that you will be overwhelmed by His goodness.
It is interesting that In Judaism, an observant Jew is encouraged in the “Sefer Ha-Aggadah”, to recount the blessings of God 100 times every day. They are to declare “Baruch Atah Adonai” which is translated: “Blessed are You, LORD our God…” followed by exactly what they are thankful for in that moment in their day. Our Christian tradition also encourages us to do the same as when we thank the Lord for a meal or safety on a trip. But what would happen if we blessed the Lord 100 times a day, acknowledging Him for the beauty of the world around us or simply expressing appreciation for the proper functioning of our bodies, or even a trial we are experiencing? In Judaism, they are encouraged that the more specific and less obvious, the better the blessing. The 100 blessings of gratefulness would cover the new or the insignificant events that we might experience throughout the day. Imagine saying; “Blessed are you Lord our God for the birds pecking in my lawn, or “Blessed are you Lord our God for shoes in my closet.” “Blessed are you Lord our God for the ability to walk around the house or drive my children to school.” According to the Talmud, if you enjoy something without saying a blessing, it is as if you have stolen that blessing from the Lord. Wow…how many blessings have I taken without a thankful heart?
The blessing from God will compound and overtake us when we acknowledge and declare out loud that they are from a gracious and generous Lord. Saying “Baruch Atah Adonai” 100 times a day is great practice of gratitude. Surely the blessings of the Lord has come upon us and overtaken us! Let’s acknowledge them!