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The Valley of Beracah

The Valley of Beracah

| On 28, Jul 2015

KEY TEXT
2 Chronicles 20:26 (NKJV)- “And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day.

Proverbs 10:6 (a) (NKJV)- Blessings are on the head of the righteous………

Living in this fallen world is already cursed as it is and we really need a God who can reverse this curse into blessings for us.

There are many in this world who are searching for a religion or a God who can bless and not curse them. Thankfully, Christianity is that one religion that offers this. Similarly, the One True God of this universe is also searching for a people who can bless Him and not just thinking of being blessed by Him.

This morning, I would like to share a sermon entitled, ‘THE VALLEY OF BERACAH.’

I would like to share on 4 things in this message:

• The Definition of Beracah
• The Valley of Beracah
• The Beracah on the heads of the righteous
• Jesus- our Beracah

(I) THE DEFINITION OF BERACH
The name Beracah is assigned to one man and a valley in the Bible. The man named Beracah is one of the men of war who came to David while in Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:3). The valley named Beracah or actually named the Valley of Beracah, is named in subsequence of Judah’s King Jehoshaphat’s war again Moab and Ammon.

The name BERACAH comes from the verb BARAK, meaning either to KNEEL OR TO BLESS.

To the Hebrews, the act of blessings had to do with “TO ENDUE WITH POWER FOR SUCCESS, PROSPERITY, FRUITFULNESS, LONGEVITY, ETC.”

Hence……..

• People Bless God
The servant of Abraham, Eliezer blessed God.

Genesis 24:48 – And I bowed my head and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD GOD of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.

• People bless the name of Yahweh
Psalms 96:2- Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

• God blesses a people
God blessed Israel, His people, despite Barak, the king of Moah, asking Balam to curse Israel.

Numbers 23:20- “Behold, I received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.

• God blesses the Sabbath
Genesis 2:3- So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.

• God blesses the labor
Deuteronomy 28:12- The LORD will open to you his good treasury the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

• God blesses a field
Genesis 27:27 –So he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him, and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed.”

God wants to bless the field of our world.

• God blesses our food
Exodus 23:25- You shall serve the LORD your God, and I will bless your bread and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.

• Men bless men in honor
Jacob blessed Pharaoh.

Genesis 47:7- Then Joseph brought in Jacob his father and set him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.

• Men bless men in meetings
Levites blessed the congregation of Israel.

Deuteronomy 10:8-At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day.

• Men bless men in departing
Genesis 24:60- And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, “Our sister, be the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendants possess the gate of those who hate them.”

It is good to ask the pastors to bless you when you are departing for overseas for work.

• Men bless men in homage (respect)
2 Samuel 14:22 –And Joab fell on his face to the ground and did obeisance, and blessed the king…..

The culture of bowing our heads to the elderly or “Bisa/Mano” is a very good practice.

The antonym of BARAK is “TO CURSE”.

“To curse” means “to bind, to restrict (sometimes by means of a spell).

The verb BARAK on the other hand conveys A LIBERATION OR UNRESTRICTNESS.

Its core idea is possibly the FREEDOM WHICH TRUTH BRINGS ABOUT.
John 8:32- and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

The noun “BEREK” means……
• Knee
Judges 7:5- So he brought the people down to the water and the LORD said to Gideon, “Every one that laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself; likewise every one that kneels down to drink.”

The knee was known to the Hebrews literally as a free-one, perhaps because of the agility of the knee, but probably more so because nimble knees give freedom to a person. Worn or seized knees are literally a curse as they restrict a person from moving about.

• Blessing
Isaiah 19:24- In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth…

• Pool or pond
Ecclesiastes 2:6- I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees.

IN SUMMARY
The word BERACAH means BLESSINGS. In Hebrew, it means PROSPERITY, POOL, WELL, RESERVOIR OF WATER, FREEDOM.

(II) THE VALLEY OF BERACAH
2 Chronicles 20:26 (NKJV)- “And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day.

The name Beracah means “blessing” and the people of Judah surely had much reason to bless the Lord. The armies of Moabites and Ammonites and many others, had invaded their land and King Jehoshaphat had no forces sufficient to oppose them.

But Jehoshaphat had already led his people back to the Lord, and now he prayed for their deliverance, acknowledging that the Lord was “God in heaven….so that none is able to withstand thee.” Therefore God replied, through the prophet Jahaziel, that “the battle is not yours, but God’s…..stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:6, 15,17). King Jehoshaphat then instructed his people to sing PRAISES to the Lord. The enemy became confused after the people of God started PRAISING Him. God used the praises of the people to set the invading armies against each other, until all were slain, and God’s people were delivered without even lifting a sword (2 Chronicles 20:23). Jehoshaphat and his people then took three days just to carry the ABUNDANCE of the valuables and precious jewelries of the enemy, because there was so much (2 Chronicles 20:25) and therefore, the name of that place was called ‘THE VALLEY OF BERACAH (2 Chronicles 20:25).

So the word “Beracah” here means BLESSING, PRAISE.

Application: Today God is still the same to His people. The battle is still His and not yours. In Him also you have an ABUNDANCE OF EVERY GOOD THING. We, like the people in the Valley of Beracah, have much for which to bless the Lord, for we also have seen the salvation of God: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5:12).

Therefore, “Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me; bless his holy name” (Psalms 103:1).

How to bless the Lord? PRAISE HIM; PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME.

(III) BERACAH ON THE HEAD OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Proverbs 10:6 (a) (NKJV)- Blessings are on the head of the righteous…..

The word “blessings” in Proverbs 10:6 is Beracah. Just now I gave you the definition of Beracah in Hebrew which means “prosperity, pool, well, reservoir of water, freedom.”

So now I can paraphrase Proverbs 10:6a in this way: “Prosperity, pool, well, reservoir of water and freedom are upon the HEAD of the righteous.

The word HEAD here is “rosh” in Hebrew and it means THE PRINCIPAL THING, FOREFRONT, BEGINNING, CHIEF, FIRST, TOP.

It is from the “head” that BLESSINGS flow down to one’s body, just as the anointing oil being poured on the HEAD of Aaron the priest, flowing down to his beard, and then to his garments (Psalm 133:2).

Application: As a believer, you too are a priest today- a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Not only that you are also counted as RIGHTEOUS through your faith in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 3:21-24). Therefore BLESSINGS are yours to receive today!

Why?
Because Galatians 3:13-14 says Jesus has become a CURSE for you so that you can have your BLESSING!

Proverbs 10:22 then says, “The blessing (beracah) of the Lord makes one rich and HE ADDS NO SORROW WITH IT.”

What does this mean?
It means when the Lord blesses you, HE REALLY BLESSES YOU GOOD! No sorrow attached! No ‘shortchange’ attached! No ‘suffering” attached! And mind you, He makes you RICH, not just in finance but also in every other way, in wisdom, favor, anointing, revelation, open doors, relationships, and even physical and divine health.

E.g. It means if you are BLESSED say financially, your BLESSING need not come at the expense of COMPROMISING say, your family relationship or your health!

The word “beracah” as I mentioned to you just has to do with our knees. And our knees have to do with KNEELING. So BERACAH or blessing has to do with KNEELING too.

The noun of BERACAH also has to do with pool or well of water. And these two nouns points to a DESERT at which camels KNEEL to drink and as a RESTING PLACE (i.e a place of “rest and refresh’) in a journey.

CAMEL here speaks of you and me – OUR WALK WITH GOD and our WALK ON EARTH.

CAMEL walks in the desert – an arduous walk.

DESERT here speaks of us living in this fallen world because of Adam’s sins.

The camel kneeling in order to drink at the well of water is a sign of OUR SURRENDER AND OUR HUMILITY BEFORE GOD.

Therefore, like the camel, let’s kneel down in sweet and humble surrender to God and drink from the well of living water (i.e.blessing).

(IV) JESUS- OUR BERACAH
Proverbs 10:6 says that the blessings are on the head of the righteous. But John 19:2 says, “And the soldiers TWISTED A CROWN OF THORNS and put in on Jesus’ HEAD….” Notice the word “head” here again.

What does this mean?
Jesus wore the CROWN OF THORNS on his head so that you don’t have to “wear it”! In other words, He carried YOUR CURSE ON HIS HEAD, so that you can have your blessing – your beracah on your head.

Thorns here always speak of “curse” because of man’s sin. Genesis 3:18 says, “Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you (Adam).”

In another cross reference, Genesis 22:13 says, “Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a THICKET by its HORN. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a BURNT OFFERING instead of his son (Isaac).”

This is a shadow of Jesus Christ (represented by the ram) wearing the ‘crown of thorns’ (instead of you wearing it) before He went up to the cross as a ‘burnt offering’.

Note that a HORN to a RAM is like a CROWN to a MAN. It is a sign of POWER AND AUTHORITY. Adam, the first man, lost his authority to Satan but Jesus regained this lost authority for you and me again.

Just as Jesus wore the “crown of thorn” on His head, the RAM also had his HORN CAUGHT IN THE THICKET (ie. Thick bushes or branches entwined).

“To be entwined” means to BE TWISTED TOGETHER AND AROUND!

This ram’s horn ‘caught in a thicket’ therefore speaks of the CROWNS OF THORNS twisted and put on Jesus’ head. See Jesus in the Old Testament now! He is indeed in the Old Testament CONCEALED and in the New Testament REVEALED.

Therefore, beloved of God, know who you are IN CHRIST today. Let not the devil ‘entwine’ you further. Instead let’s take God at His word. Eat of it! Drink from it! Like the camel ‘kneel’ down and drink from the well of Jesus’ water. The word of God says you are indeed a ‘blessing magnet’ because wherever you are and where you go, BLESSINGS are upon your head and therefore following you. Also, let us bless God in our high praises of Him and His name because truly he has blessed us.

CONCLUSION
Allow me to close today’s message with this illustration called WONDERFUL BURDEN:-

One morning R.C Chapman, a devout Christian, was asked how he was feeling. “I’m burdened this morning!” was his reply. But his happy countenance contradicted his words. So the questioner exclaimed in surprised, “Are you really burdened, Mr Chapman?” “Yes, but it’s a WONDERFUL BURDEN- it’s an overabundance of blessings for which I cannot find enough time or words to express my gratitude!” Seeing the puzzled look on the face of his friend, Chapman added with a smile, “I am referring to Psalms 68:19 which fully describes my condition. In that verse the Father in Heaven reminds us that He DAILY LOADS US WITH BENEFITS.

F.E Marsh has enumerated some of these benefits or blessings:

• An acceptance that can never be questioned (Eph 1:6)
• An inheritance that can never be lost (1 Peter 1:3-5)
• A deliverance that can never be excelled (2 Cor 1:10)
• A grace that can never be limited (2 Cor 12:9)
• A hope that can never be disappointed (Heb 6:18-19)
• A bounty that can never be withdrawn (1 Cor 3:21-23)
• A joy that need never be diminished (John 15:11)
• A nearness to God that can never be reversed (Ephesians 2:13)
• A peace that can never be disturbed (John 14:27)
• A righteousness that can never be tarnished (2 Cor 5:21)
• A salvation that can never be cancelled (Heb 5:9).

These are the blessings or the Beracah that God has poured down upon our heads.

Don’t be like a donut Christian – where you can only see the small hole in the donut but fail to see the whole donut. Some of you are like that – you keep focusing on that one speck of sin or failure or trials in your life but you fail to see the bigger picture of God’s blessing upon your life.

We should gather now at our Valley of Beracah and start to bless God back with our praises.

END OF SERMON
PREACHED AT ETAB ON 26 JULY 2015 1ST ENG SERVICE

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