Blessing and Prosperity
Blessing and prosperity are two words that are often bantered about in discussions by believers. From the discussions that ensue, most people seem to believe that these words are synonymous with receiving abundant material wealth.
To understand blessing and prosperity you need to first understand what it means to be “blessed” and what it means to “prosper”.
The thesaurus indicates that the synonyms for blessed are holy, sacred, sanctified, hallowed, consecrated and set apart.
The Hebrew word used for blessed in the Tenach is usually the word “barak” (bet, reish, kaf). Barak is a root word which means “to kneel down.” It can also mean to bless, to praise, to salute, and to curse.
Several references using blessed in the Psalms and Proverbs are the Hebrew words “ashar” and “esher.”
Ashar means to go straight, make progress, be on the level, to lead on, to be made right, and to be made happy. Ashar is found several times in Psalm 84 verses 5-13 (4-12 )
“How happy are those who live in Your house; they never cease to praise You! How happy is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the [pilgrim] highways.
Passing through the [dry] Baka Valley, they make it a place of springs, and the early rain clothes it with blessings. They go from strength to strength and appear before G-d in Tziyon.
Adonai, G-d of armies, hear my prayer; listen G-d of Ya’akov. G-d see our shield (the King); look at the face of Your anointed.
Better a day in Your courtyards than a thousand [days elsewhere]. Better just standing at the door of my G-d’s house than living in the tents of the wicked.
For Adonai, G-d, is a sun and a shield; Adonai bestows favor and honor; He will not withhold anything good from those whose lives are pure.
Adonai-Tzva’ot, how happy is anyone who trusts in You!
Esher means happiness. Read Psalm 1:1 with this new definition. “How happy are those who reject the advice of the wicked, don’t stand on the way of sinners or sit where scoffers sit! Their delight is in Adonai’s Torah; on His Torah they meditate day and night.”
This happiness is not based on what happens around you, it is grounded in the trust that HaShem holds you in His hand and that He will use everything for His good in your life.
Being blessed is like the foundation of a good building. That first course of block must be on the level for the building to stand. It does not matter how high the building will be. Any building that is not built on the level will lean, develop cracks, and even crumble to the ground.
Being blessed by HaShem is being set apart, with our foundation being His Word-His Torah for our lives. With this secure foundation, then He can build or prosper us.
When you mention the word prosper to many people you hear words like “flourish, thrive, do well, make money, show a profit, be in the black…” Prosper also means to grow.
There are several Hebrew words that are translated prosper. Tsalach is frequently used. It means to push forward, to break out, go over, be good, be profitable...(Psalm 37:7-8)
“Be still before Adonai, wait patiently till He comes. Don’t be upset by those whose way succeeds because of their wicked plans. Stop being angry, put aside rage, and don’t be upset—it leads to evil.”
Another Hebrew word is sakal. Sakal means to be circumspect, intelligent, instruct, be skillful have success…[Deut 29:8 (9)]
“Therefore observe the words of this covenant and obey them; so that you can make everything you do prosper.”
Several Hebrew words for prosper are used in the next portion of scripture. Shalav, which means to be tranquil, secure or successful, happy, be in safety… Shalvah, which means security, abundance, peace, quietness… Shalom, which means, safe, well, happy…
Psalm 122;6-9:“Pray for shalom in Jerusalem; may those who love you prosper. May shalom be within your ramparts, prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I say ‘Shalom be within you!’ For the sake of the house of Adonai our G-d, I will seek your well-being.”
Though our American culture defines prosperity as wealth, HaShem has a different definition. He defines prosperity as the fullness of what He has created an individual to be.
Financial status is not an indication of G-d’s blessing to an individual. Prosperity is not measured in dollars and cents—Prosperity is measured by our attitude.
Are we thankful for all that we have? Do we bless (praise) G-d for what He has provided us? Or do we grumble that we want more?
When we receive a blessing, what do we do with it? Do we hoard it, blow it on instant pleasure, or do we ask Him how to use it? Our checkbook is the indication of our response to Him.
HaShem is not obligated to give us everything we want. As a matter of fact He loves us too much to give us everything we want. Focusing on money and things can quickly become an idol and an obstruction to our prosperity.
HaShem’s presence is the greatest blessing in our lives. We prosper as we walk in His ways.
“For you Adonai, bless the righteous; you surround them with favor like a shield.” Psalm 5:13(12)