“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” – Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV).
There are quite a number of places in Uganda where children naming is meant to describe some ominous event. Names that spell of evil are baptized to children- like one Damadri “death has come” or another Musota, “the snake”! A new generation though has since sought to cast off such names with their odd meanings in favor of healthy names that spell blessings- like Ayinza- meaning, “with God it is possible!”
To bless people, which can come in form of names, is very much part of the Bible. After Laban released his sister Rebekah to be taken away for marriage to Isaac, her family did so with a special blessing, “ And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies” (Genesis 24:60).
As the Israelites were being released into a new land, the Lord promised blessings, out of obedience to Him. “You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out” (Deuteronomy 28: 2-6).
Indeed we find the promise of blessings throughout many scriptures, like Psalm 34:8-9, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!” And Psalm 1:1-3: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord… In all that he does, he prospers.”
Yet because many of us come out of mean cultures, where blessings others is frowned upon, sometimes we fail to appreciate that being blessed and passing on blessings is God’s nature. But our God desires that each and every one of us should be blessed. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways” (Psalm 119:1-3).
Today, may you walk in those blessings and pass them to others around.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I thank you for the blessings in my life, and help me live and gladly share your full blessings, this I pray in Jesus’s name.