The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6: 24 – 26
God’s Word is filled with such beauty, wisdom, and grace that sometimes a passage can just speak for itself! This is one of those times!
You may recognize these verses as a benediction that is often given at the end of a worship service, and if you are like me, each time we see or hear it, we are in awe of His love for us and His desire to give us the blessings of life.
But if we take a closer look at these verses, a few questions come to mind. What does the word “blessing” mean to each of us? What images come to mind when someone says to us “God bless you”? What do we truly hope for or think of in terms of wanting God’s blessings for ourselves and others?
There are many Scripture passages in which God’s message is clear – He desires to bless His people who come to Him in faith and obedience. He wants us to know the joys of life and He graciously and lovingly gives His goodness to us.
To really understand the beauty and the significance behind these words, it helps to visualize the image in which they were given. Before the people of Israel were allowed to enter the Promised Land, God had provided them with priests to lead them in worship. He gave these priests specific instructions to carry out each morning – to stretch their hands out over the people as they said these words of promise in keeping with His covenant with them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
God knew His people would need the daily reminder to continue to be faithful to Him and to remember that if they did so, He would give them abundant blessings. These weren’t just words being uttered by men; this was a message directly from God Himself, speaking to them in a personal and intimate way, as He used the word “you” over and over again. It signifies the personal relationship He desires to have with each of us who is to receive His blessing.
As God did so many centuries ago, He is doing so today. He is offering Himself to us and promising to give us the things that all humans seek from Him in life, no matter the times in which we live or the circumstances. He knows our hearts. He understands our desire to live, to have the necessary provisions that we need to do so to be healthy, and to receive the fruits of our labor. He knows that we want His care to protect and keep us from harm and that we need His presence to carry us through the difficulties of life.
But our God also desires to give us more – joy, contentment, peace, His grace and love. In these beautiful words from God Himself, we see that He desires to be faithful to us in return for our faithfulness to Him. He vows to bless us and keep us. He promises His face will shine upon us when our spirits are burdened by the cares of life, and He will turn His loving countenance upon us in our time of need. What blessings He has to give!
Why some are blessed more than others, we can’t know or understand. Only God does. But as we pray these blessings upon others, may we be prayerfully inviting God’s involvement and intervention into their lives. Hopefully our blessings will offer encouragement and the reminder that God’s omnipotent hand is always ready to touch them in whatever way is needed in their present situation. He gives the blessings of life. May He bless you always!
Dear God, we come to you with humble and grateful hearts for the blessings of life that only you can give – our family and friends, the provisions we need to live and abundantly more, the beauty of our world around us, the freedoms that we have, the fellowship with other believers, your presence in our lives, and for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Bless those we care about, dear Lord, and let your face shine upon them. And may the hearts of those who don’t know about your love and grace, be opened to you. We give you all honor, praise, and glory. Amen