1 The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
those who curse you I will curse;
all the families of the earth
will be blessed because of you.”
1 Once you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you take possession of it and are settled there, 2 take some of the early produce of the fertile ground that you have harvested from the land the LORD your God is giving you, and put it in a basket….
5 Then you should solemnly state before the LORD your God:
“My father was a starving Aramean. He went down to Egypt, living as an immigrant there with few family members, but that is where he became a great nation, mighty and numerous. 6 The Egyptians treated us terribly, oppressing us and forcing hard labor on us. 7 So we cried out for help to the LORD, our ancestors’ God. The LORD heard our call. God saw our misery, our trouble, and our oppression. 8 The LORD brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, with awesome power, and with signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land—a land full of milk and honey. 10 So now I am bringing the early produce of the fertile ground that you, LORD, have given me.”
Set the produce before the LORD your God, bowing down before the LORD your God.
When God called him, Abram had no children, but God said he and his (promised) descendants had a mission to bless “all the families of earth.” When his (numerous) descendants were a settled nation, they created a giving ritual to remind them that God was the ultimate source of all they had. As they brought the first part of each crop to God, they recited words that acknowledged their humble human ancestry. The point was that God, their creator and deliverer, had made their well-being possible.
God, thank you for the gifts and talents you have given me, and for the fruit I see them produce in my life and in our world. Teach me to always remember to point to you as the source of all good fruit in my life. Amen.
As a teenager, I wondered how I could be a blessing to others. I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have a car, and I didn’t feel like I was great at any specific thing. I thought I’d have to wait until I was an adult to make a difference in the world. I constantly told my parents, “If only I were an adult now!”
In talking with friends, I realized I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, and our grumbles found their way to the ears of our youth group pastor. He knew the message that we weren’t old enough, skilled enough, or had enough resources wasn’t true, so he did something about it. One Saturday, he piled us into a clunky old church van and took us to a local soup kitchen. He shared that while we might not have money, cars, or specific employment skills, we could always bless others through the gift of time and presence.
While my friends and I focused on what we didn’t have, we forgot the unique gifts we had as teenagers! While our parents were at work, we had time, able bodies, and lots of energy. That Saturday changed how I saw what it meant to be a blessing to others. I also learned that blessings don’t always come from money or things. Sometimes the greatest blessing is acknowledging someone is created in God’s image, no matter their circumstance, giving a hug, or listening as someone shares their story over a cup of soup.
You have gifts that can bless others AND you were created to be a blessing! I pray that God opens your mind to all the creative and profound ways that you can bless others.