Old testament, Biblical Studies, God in the Old Testament


Because of his love for them, God is disposed to bless all his children to some extent (see Matthew 5:45). However, in addition to God’s graciously bestowed blessings on all people, many divine blessings are primarily relationship dependent; that is, existing in a particular relationship with God allows one to obtain certain blessings that are often greater than those bestowed upon someone outside such a relationship.1 The Bible indicates that by his power God blessed Adam and Eve (Gen 1:22, 28) and their faithful descendants, including Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and many others. For example, after Noah’s family left their ark, “God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. . . . I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you” (Genesis 9:1, 9).2 To Abraham, God promised: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great. . . . I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (NRSV, Genesis 12:2–3). These specific covenant relationships required human obligation and participation for the covenant makers to receive the fullest measure of God’s blessings.

Original Publication Citation

“‘I will Bless the LORD at All Times’: Blessing God in the Old Testament,” in Ascending the Mountain of the Lord: Temple, Praise, and Worship in the Old Testament (2013 Sperry Symposium; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book), 136-155. Available at:

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor