Monday, October 10, 2016

Book Review: Blessed

Blessed: God's Gift of Love. Mary J. Moerbe and Christopher Mitchell. 2016. Concordia. 144 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I was interested in reading Mary J. Moerbe's Blessed because this word has always fascinated me. If you read the Bible, you'll see it popping up everywhere. It's in the Old Testament and the New. It's something that both God does and that we do as well. I had a general, fuzzy-and-vague notion of what it meant to bless and to be blessed, but, I wanted to know more. (I do think it's one of the words that is easier to use than it is to define!)

What should you know about the book? It is more scholarly than devotional. The book examines all the different uses of the Hebrew word(s) that are translated as blessed. (To be precise, the Hebrew root brk). The book also considers all the different contexts that the word is used. The book traces the word--the concept--throughout redemptive history. So the book isn't necessarily a warm-and-fuzzy book of Bible promises to feed and nurture your soul as it is a meaty book for you to engage with and digest. At times it does become technical.

Favorite quotes:
Blessings are not about us; rather, blessings are about God who gives them.
There is a temptation to believe that blessings are always accompanied by strength, happiness, courage, or wealth. Really, one can be blessed and struggle. One can be blessed and weak, afraid, or persecuted. One can be blessed during calamities and death.
God does not rely on us: we rely on Him, and the power of Christ does not need our strength, courage, or anything else. In Christ, we are highly favored, which means blessed, by our heavenly Father.
When our heavenly Father saw the fall into sin, He did not first address our emotions, self-esteem, or other needs humanly perceived. He entered the battle for our souls.
A name from God marks the entrance into a relationship with God.
God both blesses to deliver and delivers to bless. He offers peace and rescue.
It takes God's Word to reveal God's blessings. And, as a sign of His favor, no earthly blessing is intended to be a distraction from God's greatest gift: His Son.
He blesses before we praise, even as He gives us life before we seek it.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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