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Week Four | For Everything a Blessing

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Week Four | Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus Online Book Study
Reading Assignment – Ch. 7 & 8
Listen to the Audio version | Read time 5.5-minutes

When you were little did you pray a version of this prayer? โ€œGod is great and God is good, and we thank Him for our food. By His hands we all are fed.  Thank you Lord for daily bread. Amen.โ€In the Jewish culture there is a rich tradition of blessing. These blessings arenโ€™t just reserved for meals and special festivals, such as the Passover seder that we read about in chapter 8 of โ€œSitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesusโ€. There is a blessing for nearly all of our everyday activities, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning to our last thoughts before we fall asleep at night.

โ€œThis little habit of prayer can be truly transformational, instilling a sense of Godโ€™s continual presence in those who practice it.โ€

Ann Spangler & Lois Tverberg, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

For Everything a Blessing

I must admit, sometimes it seems a little hard to believe that I, a mere human, could ever extend a blessing to God.

In our culture we tend to throw blessings around all of the time. When someone sneezes, we quickly say, โ€œGod bless you!โ€ And if youโ€™re from the south, everyoneโ€™s heart gets blessed a couple times a day, with the phrase, โ€œOh, bless your heartโ€, uttered with the endearing southern accent of course.

Weโ€™re quick to offer blessings to one another.

With all of this blessing going on, it feels almost underwhelming and less meaningful to consider offering blessings to God as well.

Itโ€™s important for us to take a closer look at the difference in how we bless each other in comparison to the blessings we offer to God.

In our culture, we donโ€™t seem to focus as much on the concept of blessing God as much as we intentionally make time for praise and worship. Most churches even have special times of the service set aside for praise and worship

โ€œTo bless Godโ€ is to โ€œpraiseโ€ him, to acknowledge him as the source of all blessing.โ€

Ann Spangler & Lois Tverberg, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

But it is important to note that there is a difference between praise and worship.

Praise, as the celebration of wonderful acts, is something that can be shared with people. We praise each otherโ€™s accomplishments and rejoice in a job well done. Following an enjoyable performance we applaud for one another, and at athletic events we shout and cheer for our team as we see the points increase on the scoreboard.

God having done, and continuing to do so many, wonderful acts is truly most worthy of praise.

Psalm 18:3, NIV says, โ€œI called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise.โ€

โ€œWe offer Him our praise and blessings because He deserves them. Unlike Godโ€™s blessings upon us, which are wholly undeserved and by His mercy and grace, our blessing God is done out of an understanding that He is the true praiseworthy Creator and our heavenly Father.โ€


The Bible tells how God is praised both on earth and in heaven. In Psalms 89:5 and 103:20-22, David describes the angels and heavenly hosts praising the Lordโ€™s wonders and all His marvelous works.

David also tells of the kings of the earth praising the Lord when they hear His decrees in Psalms 138:4. In the New Testament, Paul writes in Romans 15:11, NIV, โ€œPraise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him.โ€

Everyone, from the angels in heaven to the kings and people of earth, is called to praise the Lord.

Praising the Lord looks and sounds a lot like the praises we offer to one another. 

All through Psalms, David gives examples of how we can praise God by raising our voices with shouting and singing. He describes praise with lively movements raising our hands and dancing or clapping and even making joyful music with instruments.

There seems to be an endless number of ways for us to express our praise to God. This also draws attention to the importance of praising Him often.

Worship God for who He is

On the other hand, worship should be reserved only for God, because it comes from a deeper place within us. Worship extends beyond the expression of praise to a point of complete surrender and humble offering our whole selves before God.

While the Bible lively describes praise, the tone is different when we read about the posture of worship. 

In 2 Chronicles 29:28, we read how the whole assembly bowed down in worship. The posture of worship is usually seen as bowing, kneeling, being in a humble and reverent position before the Lord.

In this posture of worship we deeply admire God not only for what He has done, but for who He is.

So how is worship connected to praise and blessings?

We learn in chapter 7 of Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, that the Hebrew word for โ€œbless,โ€ barakh can also mean โ€œto kneelโ€.

Lois and Ann describe on page 99, โ€œIt is as if you are momentarily โ€œkneeling downโ€ mentally, and humbly praising God for his goodness.โ€

This humble position before the Lord is also a sign of adoration and worship.

It is this reverent posture of worship that enriches our blessings before God and takes them beyond the blessings that we share with each other. The position of our hearts to worship God transforms our blessings from mundane and underwhelming, to humble majestic praise to the One truly worthy of all our praise and worship.

Blessing the Lord is the expression of praise in the position of worship.

Let’s recap…

Today we learned:
– Jews have a rich tradition of blessings
– Praise is a response to good acts that is shared with people and God 
– We reserve worship only for God 
– Worship God for who He is not only for what He does
– Blessing the Lord is the expression of praise in the position of worship

Try writing your own berakhah or blessing for two things that have happened to you in the last hour.

Start with, “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe…”

(Remember, the purpose of the blessing is to put God at the center of our prayers.)

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Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus | Lois Tverberg

A 7-week study to change the way you read Scripture and deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus, by taking a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus, offering inspirational insights that can
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