Blessings Come in Threes!
June 27, 2016
We’ve discussed the fact that the most common number in the Bible – SEVEN – is the number of completion. That’s why it’s repeated so many times in the Revelation: things are being completed.
A second number we have discussed is TWELVE. It is the number of foundation. There are 12 tribes of the nation of Israel; there are 12 disciples that lay down the foundation of the church.
Another number with significance in Scripture is the number THREE. It is the number of blessing – as we will now demonstrate.
Did you ever notice how many THREES there are in the first Chapter of the Bible?
There are THREE Persons in one God: Elohim (a plural Hebrew noun) is God the Father (Yahweh or Abba Father), God the Son (Jesus, or Yeshua ha Mashiach), and God the Holy Spirit (in Hebrew, Ruach ha Khodesh).
There are six days of actual creation, divided into two groups of THREE days: the first THREE days, in which Elohim establishes the framework for Creation, and the second THREE days, in which He fills the framework.
There are THREE heavens: the atmosphere (called the “firmament”); the second heaven (outer space, where the sun, moon, and stars are); and the third heaven (where Elohim is).
There are THREE kinds of living things: plants (which have a living body, but no soul or spirit); animals (which have a living body and a God-breathed soul, but no spirit; and humans (who have all THREE: a living body, a God- breathed soul, and a spirit that can communicate with Elohim).
There are THREE kinds of plants: vegetation (or grasses and other ground cover); plants bearing their own seeds (vegetable-type plants, other than edible fruit); and fruit trees.
There are THREE units of time: seasons, days, and years.
There are THREE lights in the sky: the sun, the moon, and the stars.
There are THREE kinds of animals: birds (in the air); fish (in the water) and land animals (on dry ground).
There are THREE types of land animals: livestock (domesticated animals); beasts (non-domesticated animals); and creeping things (insects, spiders, snakes, and so on).
There are THREE groups of animals that man is to have dominion over: birds of the air, fish in the sea, and livestock/creeping things.
There are THREE ways we have the likeness of Elohim: we have a will, an intellect, and emotions.
But there are many THREES in other parts of the Word as well:
There were THREE righteous patriarchs before the Flood: Abel, Enoch, and Noah.
There are THREE righteous patriarchs after the Flood: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
There are THREE things that Yahweh promises Abraham: seed (a great nation would come from him through Isaac), the Law, and the Land (the Promised Land).
There are THREE Spring festivals (Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost) and THREE Fall festivals (Feast of Trumpets, Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles).
There are THREE days and THREE nights that Jonah is in the “belly of the great fish.”
There are 27 books in the Messianic Writings (3 x 3 x 3 = 27 – blessing to the third power!)
There are THREE gifts from the Magi: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
There were THREE disciples in Jesus’ “inner circle” – Peter, James, and John – who had many special blessings, but especially the blessing of seeing Jesus glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration.
There were four groups of THREE disciples that had special roles in their training: Peter, James, and John; Andrew, Phillip, and Nathaniel Bartholomew; Thomas. Matthew, and James, the son of Alpheus; and Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot (replaced later by Matthias).
Jesus prayed THREE times in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was crucified. He allowed Himself to be executed, suffering a bloody death so that WE would be blessed!
There are many THREES on the day Jesus was crucified; He was placed on the cross at the THIRD hour of the day (9 a.m.) and died at the 9th hour (THREE p.m.). There were THREE hours of darkness that covered the land while Jesus was suffering on the cross from the 6th hour to the 9th hour.
There are THREES associated with the Most Important Event in History – the Resurrection of Jesus. He said He would spend THREE days and THREE nights in the tomb, just like Jonah stayed inside the “great fish,” He rose victoriously on the THIRD day!
There were THREE times that Peter denied Jesus – but there were THREE times that Jesus asked him if he loved Him – THREE times to restore Peter and assure him of His forgiveness!
Jesus declares THREE ways that He is God: He claims to be “the One who was (He existed in Eternity Past), whi is (He exists now), and who is to come (Eternity Future).
There are THREE days, in the future Tribulation, when the two witnesses will lie dead openly on the streets of Jerusalem After those THREE days, they will be taken up after being resurrected.
There are THREE unclean spirits that will be allowed to deceive the whole world to fight the returning Jesus in the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13 – 16).
Wow! That’s a lot of THREES! And there are many others we had to skip!
I’ll add some more – personal THREES…
I wore the number 33 (double THREES) when I played street hockey and when I managed our high school team for ten years. In those ten years, the players won THREE league championships. (They’re the ones who played; all praise goes to the Lord for giving me great groups of guys EVERY year I coached).
My number 33 has absolutely nothing to do with the highest level of Masonry, or anything to do with the occult. It has everything to do with my favorite player wearing it – Ron Hunt, when he played for the Montreal Expos – and one of my all-time favorite Phillies, pitcher Wayne Twitchell (after his fantastic rookie season in 1973; he pitched in the 1973 All-Star Game; he pitched for a number of years afterwards, but injuries kept from repeating his rookie brilliance). That’s why I wore 33… that’s why my blog site is Joltin’33.
A verse I chose as my life verse is Psalm THREE: THREE – in the KJV, it says: “Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me; you’re my glory, the lifter of my head.” The verse, for which there is a blessed song, was a blessing to me a number of times in my life. It is true.
Finally, there are a number of books in the Bible that have a special Chapter THREE. Yes, I know the numbers are not technically inspired (also true with Psalm 3:3), but think of the numbering as Providential. Genesis THREE, for example, actually looks bad – the Fall of Adam and Eve into sin – but it also contains one of the most fabulous promised blessing in Scripture: the first prophecy in the Bible. It’s Genesis 3:15 –
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
It’s the prophecy of the Messiah, the “seed of the woman.” The word for “seed” is the same as the word for “sperm” in the Hebrew. So – do you see the paradox? Men have seed; women don’t. But Jesus was referred to as “her seed” because He was virgin-born. There it is: in the beginning of the Scriptures – our virgin-born Messiah will be born without the sin nature we all inherit from Adam. That’s a blessing for sure!
Another THREE is John THREE sixteen. It’s very well known because it is one of the few single verses that express the gospel clearly. “God (Abba Father) so loved (He’s a God of love… He IS Love1) the world (to the shock of the Pharisee Nicodemus, the Messiah came for ALL people; He’s not just the Savior of Israel, but ALL nations) that He gave (to all who believe in Him) His (one-and-only) only begotten Son, that WHOEVER (every one, not just the Jews) believes in Him should NOT PERISH, but have EVERLASTING LIFE! (What a great promise! We will live forever and ever with Him, in perfect bodies, if we just believe that sincerely!)
Which brings us to Major League Baseball…
OK – there are a lot of THREES: THREE outs per inning; THREE strikes and the batter’s out; there are THREE THREES of innings (for a total of nine); there are THREE THREES (nine) players on each team (at least in the National League); there are THREE bases, not including home plate (the catcher is not the “fourth baseman” though). In today’s game, there are THREE numbers that measure a hitter, each of which is expressed with THREE decimals – batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
But these have to do with the structure of the game, but are not exactly blessings. Here are some blessings in THREES:
Many teams have won THREE straight pennants (and some have had THREE straight Championships – that’s generally a blessing! Like: the Cubs won THREE straight pennants from 1906 to 1908. The Yankees finally won THREE straight pennants in 1921, 1922, and 1923, finally winning in the last year. The Philadelphia Athletics won THREE straight pennants in 1929, 1939, and 1931. And there are many other examples.
Three Championships has often (but not always) been a blessing for teams that have been cursed for a long time. The Red Sox, for example, won THREE World Championships after spending 84 years under the Curse of the Bambino: 2004, 2007, and 2013. The Brooklyn Dodgers were cursed by the city of Brooklyn’s disrespect to its most famous home-town boy in the 1860’s and 1870’s, Lip Pike. From the first year of Professional Baseball (in the National Association), 1871, to the year the Dodgers finally won – 1966 – was 84 years. The blessings came as the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won THREE Championships: 1959, 1963, and 1965. The Oakland A’s finally broke the 40 year curse (when Connie Mack disrespected pitcher George Earnshaw after a powerful showing in the 1930 World Series) when, behind the pitching of Ken Holtzman, beat the Reds in 1972, then won again in 1973 and 1974. The San Francisco Giants broke their John McGraw-inspired 84-year curse in 2007 by winning THREE Championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Finally, blessings tend to come in THREES in seasons where a team is doing well. For example, even though 1964 ended horribly for the Phillies (they were under a powerful curse; they lost ten straight games with 12 games left to blow the pennant), they still had THREE blessings that year: 1) Jim Bunning’s Perfect Game on Father’s Day; 2) Johnny Callison hitting a three-run homer in the All Star Game, to win the game and get selected as the game’s MVP; and 3) Richie Allen won the Rookie of the Year Award.
So – I believe, since this is the Cubs’ year, that they would get THREE blessings at this year’s All Star Game in San Diego (the THIRD time it has been played there): Chris Bryant will win the Home Run Derby; Jake Arrieta will get the Win for the NL; and a Cub will be named MVP of the Game (maybe Ben Zobrist).
As the Word says in Ephesians Chapter THREE, verses 20 and 21:
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
HE gets all the Glory!