As Numbers Chapter 6 comes to a close we have an interesting passage of scripture starting in verse 22 it says; and the Lord spoke to Moses saying speak to Aaron and his son saying this is the way you shall bless the children of Israel say to them the Lord bless you and keep you the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the children of Israel and I will bless them.
What makes this passage so interesting is the fact that while this prayer is given this blessing is given to Aaron and his sons it is Jesus who truly carries it out.
When we look at the break down of this high priestly prayer this blessing that the priest has to make upon the people. First off you’ll notice that it ends by saying that you will put the name of the Lord my name on the children of Israel and I will bless them. And of course most of us have seen Star Trek whether we are big fans or have barely seen the show. We all know that hand gesture that Mr Spock makes the V in the middle of his fingers he acquired that from the blessing that the priest would put upon the people and that hand signal actually stood for the name of the Lord.
And we should understand that what God is telling us is that he will give us his name and that name is where the blessing comes from.
When we break down the blessing of the priest It starts off by saying The Lord bless you and keep you.
And this is something that was fulfilled by Jesus when we read Ephesians chapter 1 verse 3 where it says Jesus has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ and through Jesus the blessings of Abraham and the blessings of Israel have come upon the Gentiles as well as the Jews and we all experience the quote fullness of the blessing of Jesus. According to Romans 15:29 and through Jesus God is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory according to Jude verses 24 and 25.
You see the Lord is the one who blesses us and to be blessed is the Lord assigns to our lives value that we each have weight. We are important to God and it is important that we ask God to give our lives weight and meaning and that he keeps us close to himself keeps us close to that blessing of assigning our lives value through Jesus Christ.
The second verse of the Blessing says the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. Well the shining of the Lord’s face it really represents his attention and his pleasure. When God is well disappointed with us when he’s hurt with us he turns his face away from us especially when we sin.
But when the Lord is pleased with us he makes his face shine upon us. Or in other words he turns his face towards us.
And he gives us His grace which is more than just unmerited favor. True grace in the Hebrew sense of the word is that we have merited favor and we’ve done this because of what Jesus has done. He has imparted to us His righteousness so the grace that we receive from God is really the grace that is deserved from Jesus. We have received His righteousness and our righteousness is as filthy rags he took upon himself upon the cross.
And so now we enjoy God’s grace.
The third verse is that the Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace. See again the lifting up of the Lord’s countenance upon a person implies really God’s smile. And Jesus is the one who actually fulfills this request for peace because according to Romans chapter 5 verse 1 we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
He told his disciples. He tells us. Peace I leave with you My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. And he says don’t do not let your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful. Let the peace of Jesus rule in your hearts and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Of course I am grouping together several verses there but this peace that the Lord gives us is the kind of peace we will experience in the Messianic Age when the Lord comes to rule and reign.
That’s when we will experience this blessing in its fullness that the Lord bless you and keep you the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace. So this weekend. May you enjoy the peace the grace and the smile of God.
Pastor Paul Holt, thebiblefactor.com