I often say the word “bless.” In prayer, I frequently ask for God’s blessing on myself and others. In essence, I am asking for God’s divine favor or grace to be imparted.
Other times I have seen one person bless another by “conveying well-being or prosperity” to them. Sometimes this is done in the context of prayer, a commissioning ceremony, or a benediction.
Both of these examples make sense to me and are readily understandable — because in both instances a “person” of authority or power is blessing someone of lessor standing (Hebrews 7:7.)
However, I recently heard someone “bless” God. Initially, I assumed that he misspoke. When he said it again, I thought he had it backward. After all, it seems a bit arrogant to bless God in the same way that we ask him to bless us.
Then I began stumbling on this in the Bible. Some translations of Psalms 26:12 and 34:1, for example, talk about blessing God. Other versions instead use the words “praise” or “extol.”
Fortunately, the dictionary provides some help in understanding this seeming dichotomy. One of the definitions of “bless” is to “To honor as holy; glorify: Bless the Lord.”
So in expanding my understanding of “bless” to include honor and glorify, then, yes, I bless God! Do you?
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.