Vertical and Horizontal Blessings

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

– Genesis 12:1-3


In the call to Abram (name later changed to Abraham) is the promise that God will bless his people and his people will bless the nations. This is a pivotal passage.  It is so important in Genesis that the blessing phrase appears five times. See Genesis 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, 26:4-5 and 28:14.

Yet, the truth of this passage carries on throughout the Bible.  The people of God are blessed and are called to be a blessing.

There are two aspects to blessing:

Vertical. Those who are blessed know God is blessing them and seek to live in faithful relationship with God.

Horizontal. Those who are blessed know God is blessing them and seek to share that blessing with others.

Go and be a blessing.

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