The Lordís Blessing
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to Aaron and his sons, 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."' (Numbers 6:22-27)
In the midst of stern commandments and restrictions is recorded this well known benediction. Similar sentiments are also expressed in apostolic literature. (II Corinthians 12:13) It is an expression of what God really wants for his people.
The LORD bless you and keep you. The Lord is the keeper of Israel. He promises to provide and preserve. It is by this same care that our world is sustained. (Acts 14:15-17) God graciously supplies all that man needs both physically and spiritually. Among Godís people there should be the security (Matthew 6:33) that God will meet every need to those who seek Him first.
The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you. Godís shining countenance is the assurance of pardon and salvation! Just as a child feels the difference between the shining or darkened face of a mother, the Christian pleads for Godís approval. God wishes to heap His favors upon us.
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. This third clause seems to repeat the second, but in a stronger form. To lift the eyes upon anyone is to gaze with a keen interest. God furnishes his children with all of the tools necessary for continued fellowship. He will guide and shelter any who will submit to his discipline. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Godís mercies are everlasting to everlasting. If we are at peace with Him in hearty and diligent obedience, nothing else matters.
By George Slover
From Expository Files 20.10; October 2013