der Segen – blessing
Etymology: From Middle High German segen, from Old High German segan, from Latin signum.
(besonders Religion) durch Gebetsworte… etwas erbetene göttliche Gnade, gewünschtes Glück und Gedeihen
(especially in the context of religion) to receive divine grace, desired blessedness and prosperity through prayer
Psalm 24,5 Er wird Segen empfangen von Jehova, und Gerechtigkeit von dem Gott seines Heils.
Psalms 24:5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This word is hard to define, and, apart from the fact that I feel that the definition is not adequate to describe the kind of blessing that God gives to His children, I am not even sure if I translated the definition right.
His blessing is far more than what we can expect, and it can come in ways we never thought it would.
I thought of looking into verses with this word because just a few days ago I received two blessings from God.
One was an answer to a prayer that I had asked for. I had wanted to run in a 5K run (since last year; this is an annual event). It is such that you can only register for this run through your own company; individuals are not allowed to register. The organiser gave 10 slots, and the employees had to ballot. There were 18 people from my company who registered. I didn’t get one of the slots, despite praying to God for it.
To be precise, I prayed for it, but I also said that I would accept it that if it wasn’t God’s will then that was fine. But really, I was not all that fine with the result. I was really sad after that. I eventually comforted myself, realising that perhaps I wouldn’t be able to make the 5K since I still have a leg injury from last year that sometimes keeps coming back, though it hasn’t made an appearance for a while.
Then two weeks later, there was news that the organiser had another 10 slots for my company, so everyone who signed up would get to run! It truly was an unexpected turn of events.
On the same day, my boss also talked to me separately and told me that I would be getting a raise. The usual time for salary adjustments is in March, so one that came at this time was wholly unanticipated.
Who does that Bible say shall receive blessing from the Lord? The answer comes from the previous verse, in Psalms 24:4:
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;
Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
Der unschuldiger Hände und reinen Herzens ist,
der nicht zur Falschheit erhebt seine Seele
und nicht schwört zum Truge.
The original Hebrew word is בְּרָכָה (transliterated berakah, phonetic spelling ber-aw-kaw’).
I have to admit that as I read this, I don’t feel that I deserve any kind of blessing from God. As sinners, we were all lost, deserving of death, until God sought us. After we are saved, we still have a tendency to sin and to disobey His Word.
Even if we cannot attain perfection while on this earth, that does not mean that we should not do our utmost to live according to His Word.
I think that we shouldn’t live expecting God’s blessing, thinking it is our due. We don’t deserve anything but death. But if God so chooses to give us blessings, then we should rejoice and thank Him for the great things that He has done for us.