The Mitzvah Blessing

Written In StoneA legacy can be thought of as the tangible and intangible blessing we leave behind. It is the conferring of what is valuable and vital to us, given with the hope and intention that the blessing carries into and through the lives of those who come after us.

In the Old Testament, when Jacob was dying he called his sons to him so that he might impart his final blessing.

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.” (Genesis 49:28). The blessings that Jacob spoke were both spiritual, as he prophesied promises and warnings, and practical (material) as he declared the posi­tion which each one would have in the nation of Israel and in the promised land of Canaan.

In the New Testament, the Greek word makários shapes the idea of being blessed. “And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed [makários] to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35b). Makários describes one in an enviable position from receiving God’s favor; one who is made happy.

Melding these two pictures together, it is clear we are to impart blessing and thereby become blessed (happy, enviable). How, you might ask? Random acts of kindness are fine, and vague wishes of doing good may dwell in us, yet it is intentional acts which are in keeping with the concept of godly stewardship the Bible instructs us in. So, let us mitzvah.

Mitzvah, a Hebrew noun used numerous times in the scripture, in one meaning is divine commandment (in Exodus 24:12 the Ten Commandments are collectively referred to as mitzvot, the plural form of mitzvah). Another meaning for mitzvah is a meritorious or charitable act. In modern Jewish thinking, mitzvot are not burdensome things but rather opportunities to express gratitude to God for life and to make connection with Him.

It is remarkable that a sovereign God to whom all the earth and its fullness belong not only entrusts His servants as stewards, but empowers them as givers of His resources who can choose where, when and how to give. Let us strive to impart practical and spiritual blessings, purpose to leave a legacy. Not only hopes and dreams for loved ones, but also for the kingdom causes near and dear to heart. May we deliberately and joyfully commit mitzvah—a meritorious or charitable act—now and as a continuum for the future. We will be carrying out His divine command, connecting with our Creator, and in doing so become makários!

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