Blessings to Fulfill Our Purpose

Yael Eckstein  |  January 5, 2023

Rabbi Eckstein blessing Yael while in Jerusalem.

This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death. — Deuteronomy 33:1

One of the founding principles of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is God’s eternal promise He made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you.” This is one of 12 devotions exploring the concept of blessing, barak, which is so important to both Christians and Jews.

As people of faith, we know that God has a plan for our lives, as individuals as well as collectively. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time asking yourself, “What is my purpose? What does God want from me, specifically?”

Discovering our personal God-given mission is not always easy, but it’s not impossible. Look at the blessings that you have been given. Are you great with people? Are you a talented writer? Have you been given a beautiful voice? Has God blessed you with an abundance of time, wealth, or patience?

Instead of thinking about all the things we are not, each of us should embrace the unique gifts and traits that God has given us. That’s where we’ll find the answer to the question, “What is my purpose?”

Blessings to Fulfill Our Purpose

At the end of Moses’ life, just before his death, he spoke a blessing over each of the tribes of Israel. This passage begins with an introductory verse: “This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death.”

The Jewish sages note the fact that the verse speaks in such definitive terms: “This is the blessing.” In contrast, when Jacob was on his deathbed and gave blessings to the tribes, he simply told them to listen and then he proceeded to bless them. Similarly, the verse here in Deuteronomy could have simply said “and Moses blessed the children of Israel.”

Think about the difference between “a blessing” and “the blessing.” Moses wasn’t just blessing the tribes of Israel. The words, “This is the blessing,” teach us that Moses’ blessings for the tribes were specific and precise. “This is the blessing” for each tribe, each according to its unique qualities and mission.

Jewish tradition teaches that just as every tribe had a specific role to play, each of us has a personal mission. Just as every tribe had blessings to help them, so, too, we are given the gifts and the blessings we need to fulfill our purpose.

Your Turn:

What can you point to and say definitively, “This is my blessing?” How can you use the unique traits that God has given you to serve Him?

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