Blessing Obama is not a popular notion among Christians
A scan of Facebook as well as numerous blogs (many written by Christians) reveals no lack of vociferous and vehement opinions regarding our chief executive. There’s simply no doubt that Barack Obama is one of the most polarizing figures ever in the history of our great nation. Regardless of which side you take in the great debate, the view from here is that Christians need to be about the business of blessing one Barack Obama. Obviously, this will not be a popular notion in various Christian communities where feelings run high and outright rancor is the chief sentiment. Yet, the proper biblical reaction remains: we must bless, and never curse. That includes Obama, and there’s compelling reasons why.
What it means to bless
The notion of blessing holds a unique and special place in the Bible. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word barak is typically used to designate blessing and cursing – virtual opposites of each other. Barak means to “kneel” or “kneel in front of” or “kneel before”. Barak appears over 500 times in the Old Testament to connote blessing and just under 200 times to communicate cursing. Barak is the term used in Job 1 and 2. Indeed, God and Satan’s “wager” has everything to do with who Job will bow before. The fundamental question being posed is: whose authority will Job come under: God or Satan?
Whose authority are you coming under?
Barak, when used as a blessing, meant to bring a person under the authority of God in a given area of life, presumably bringing God’s goodness and peace. To curse meant to bring a person under the authority of Satan in a given area, implying that circumstances would turn for the worse in one way or another. To clarify, it is understood that God is sovereign and in absolute authority at all times; however, we can come under the intermediate authority of Satan via a curse (the Bible makes it clear that Satan is the prince of this world)
The power of blessing and cursing is not to be underestimated. Indeed, the Word emphasizes that blessing is a powerful logistic: (Luke 6:28, Rom 12:14). Blessing is meant to be used often, especially when it seems hardest to use!(1 Cor 4:12).
Blessing and the spoken word
Roy Honeycutt, writing in Holman’s Bible encyclopedia gives an excellent explanation of the significance of blessing and its profound implications.
"The unique concept of the spoken word… is important for understanding the significance of both cursing and blessing. According to Old Testament thought patterns, the formally spoken word had both an independent existence and the power of its own fulfillment. The word once spoken assumed a history of its own, almost a personality of itself … The Word of God exists as a reality and has within itself the power of its own fulfillment. Formal words of blessing or cursing also had the same power of self-fulfillment…. Blessing and cursing released suprahuman powers which could bring to pass the content of the curse or the blessing.…The Lord was the source of all blessing…"
As Honeycutt further points out, "...when Isaac mistakenly blessed Jacob rather than Esau, he could not recall the blessing, for it existed in history (Gen. 27:18-41); it had acquired an identity of its own."
Blessing your enemy will be rewarded
Proverbs 25:21-22 If tells us: “if your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you. James also sternly warns us that blessing and cursing should never co-exist!:
"(James 3:8-12): But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh."
Blessing produces Godly change; cursing does not
The significance of what James tells us is not to be missed: First, we are to always to be about the business of blessing. Cursing will not “git-r-dun”. Second, if you want Godly change, bless them; never curse them. Let God do the work. To be sure, the object of the blessing can refuse that blessing. But the one who has dispensed the blessing has done what needs to be done.
Think about it. When you have cried out to God for certain someone to be saved or changed or healed, did you curse them time and time again before or after? Of course not! In Obama’s case, it’s certainly right and proper to report that we disagree with His policies. And there is no question that we can disagree with what he believes and practices. But if you want lasting true Godly change out of this president, bless him – don’t curse him!
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Mr. Marica contributes incisive and contemporary Christian commentary for Examiner.com on a regular basis. He holds an MA from Liberty University, and he is the Director of Godly Training Ministries. You can find out more about him by clicking here.
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