We live in a time of voice-controlled technology, which, most likely, will only get more so. Imagine getting into your car and telling it to take you to an address and it asking if you want 158 on south Maple or north Maple. It’s coming.
We sometimes forget the true power of the voice. There are numerous ways to follow that thought but I’m heading toward faithfulness. God, we are told, created through speaking. “Let there be light.” LIGHT! And we can sometimes misplace the truth that our voices lean in that direction. What we tell ourselves, about ourselves, what we say to others, about themselves, has power. It creates.
This is the significance of the blessing in the Bible and explains why, once it is given, it’s done. When Esau learns that Jacob received the pronounced blessing of Isaac, the words spoken over him even though he was disguised, he asks, “Is there nothing left for me?” And there isn’t. Isaac explains that he said it all. When people used to say, “I give you my word”, it meant something. One’s word was a created thing, more than a promise. The blessing said over Jacob became literal, handing him the full inheritance.
In Romans 12, where we’re told to “Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse”, we’re being told to create the world through our words. We’re being told to join the work of God in the lost regions of another’s soul. People who seek to do damage to others are, for the most part, damaging their own souls. They are deadening a part that should be functioning, that should be telling them that what they’re doing should never be done to any human being. The restoration and healing that needs to take place there must start with blessing, with the creative saying that brings life into existence.
So, we need to not only bless those who persecute us but also bless those who love us. We need to pronounce blessing to our children and to others’ children. We need to bless friends and neighbors. We need to say more than truth, but to speak life, the life that should be, into the souls of those we cherish.
The deepest blessing we can bring to another comes from the place of our own healing. Out of the damage that sought to deaden our souls, to separate us from life, God, other people, out of the healing and hope we have received comes words that carry new life. When we bless from our own healing, we restore and heal because the ones who need that most are living in the damage and darkness of their own deadening. This is why the word of the Lord is living and active and effective and more than just the Bible. It is the life that comes through the Bible, from the creating word of the one who restores and heals, truly.