02/23/17 The Lord Bless and Keep You

READING: Numbers 5-6, Mark 4:1-20

“I will bless them.”

Numbers 6:27

I don’t remember exactly where I was when I first heard this blessing, but I do know that it was at the end of a worship service. Just before the pastor dismissed the congregation, he led us in these words: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Num. 6:24-26). At the time, I thought the pastor must have been a really smart man who wrote really cool prayers. I had no idea that the words were a blessing that Aaron and his sons were to announce over the people of Israel.

Many years later, I realize much more just how beautiful those words were then and still are today. God is a personal God who wishes to be in relationship with His people. Aaron may have verbalized the words, but it was God who blessed and kept the people. Indeed, He is the subject in all three of the pronouncements of blessings in these verses, echoed even more clearly in verse 27: “I will bless them.” His gifts may have been a fruitful land, a long life, many offspring, military victory, or any other type of blessing, but all came from the God who blessed His people – and then through them blessed the nations of the world (Psa. 67:1-2).

That relationship was both powerful and intimate. Not only would God provide for His people, but He would also preserve them as His own. He would find pleasure in them, looking upon them with love and showering them with unmerited favor. It would be as if God smiled over His people as He granted them a peace that the world could never understand. They would be His people, and He would be their God.

This blessing resounds with grace, even for us today. The Lord blesses us, keeps us, and smiles over us not because we are worthy, but because He is gracious and merciful. It ought to amaze us that we get to be His people.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Consider how the Lord has blessed you today, both spiritually and materially. Realize that all His blessings are gifts of love.
  • Because God has been good to you, sacrificially bless someone else today.

PRAYER: “God, I am not worthy of Your blessing. Thank You for everything.”

TOMORROW'S READING: Numbers 7-8, Mark 4:21-41