“God bless you.”
People used to believe a sneeze caused someone to expel their soul out of their body, and so “God bless you” or “Bless you” was used as a protection against the devil snatching your soul. In place of “Bless you,” some Americans also say “Gesundheit,” the German word for “health.” The appearance of this phrase was due to the numerous German immigrants who moved to the United States. Many Americans do not even realize this is a German word (and usually are unaware of the true meaning).
Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another. It isn’t just words. It’s the actual putting forth of your will for the good of another person. It always involves God, because when you will the good of another person, you realize only God is capable of bringing that. So we naturally say, “God bless you.” You can bless someone when you will their good under the invocation of God. You invoke God on their behalf to support the good that you will for them. This is the nature of blessing. It is what we are to receive from God and then give to another.
– Dallas Willard, Christianity Today
While reading Exodus chapter 39 this morning in my devotions verse 43 seemed to stick out in a special way. I have read it many times but this time I saw something sort of small but really VERY, VERY BIG.
“Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded.
So Moses blessed them.”
While Moses had been up in the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments, he also received very detailed direction from God about building the tabernacle and all the implements needed for the Children of Israel to worship The God who had delivered them from Egypt. Chapters 26-40 give the big picture of all God asked for. We see three specific take-a-ways in verse 43:
1. We should always seek to do God’s work in God’s way. “‘Nough” said.
2. Those leading the work should be responsible to check the work.
3. The “good work” that people do should be acknowledged, appreciated, and “blessed.”
Now, back to the “God Bless You” part. Don’t take for granted what others do, at home, in the workplace, and at church. Your recognition of their “good work” may be just the thing needed to help them do the next “good work.” Their next “good work” may be just what is needed by someone who is desperately in need of an encouraging word or act. Their next “good work” may be what is needed for them to take their next step of faith in their journey with Jesus. Israel had worked hard to build their worship center. Moses saw their “good work,” showed appreciation, and sought God’s blessing on their lives.
May God “Bless You” as you sincerely and purposefully “bless” others.