Thursday, April 20, 2023

          One of the best-known blessings in the Bible can be found in Numbers.  Like Leviticus, Numbers is not a book that many people read often or at all.  But, like Leviticus, it is part of the biblical canon and deserves our attention and time.  In Numbers 6, the LORD instructed Moses and Aaron about how to bless the Israelites. This teaching on how to bless the people would imply that God desires to bless His people and has designs for doing that.  This ancient blessing reads like this, “The LORD bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).  You may have heard this blessing offered at a wedding or funeral.  It is a comforting passage in the Bible.  A few lessons stand out about God’s blessings.
            First, the LORD is the One who blesses us.  Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Lord God (James 1:17).  Blessings originate in the heart and mind of God.  There is no reason to believe that God just randomly and winsomely drops blessings into lives much like you might toss a handful of sand at the beach.  No.  Rather, God blesses purposely and with forethought.  And He blesses us so that the glory goes to Him.  He blesses us that we might be a blessing to others.  God does not act in a random or scattered sort of way.  Scripture plainly teaches that God always acts with purpose and precision in His deeds and ways.
            Second, the LORD is gracious.  He treats us much better than we have earned or deserved.  He would be right to look away from us but He chooses to see us and to make His face to shine upon us.  He would be right to cover His eyes with regret or embarrassment over who we are and what we have done.  But He sees us with perfect understanding and knows the plans that He has for us.  He remembers how we are made and that we come from dust (see Psalm 103).  God’s hand is open in invitation for people to surrender their lives to Him through faith, trust and a new birth in Jesus Christ.  Grace is the greatest blessing of all.  It is by grace we are saved through faith.  It was grace that drove God’s plan for salvation in the first place. 
            Third, the LORD offers us peace.  Peace is not the absence of pain or complete immunity from conflict or chaos.  Rather, peace is a deep and abiding tranquility and stability in the face of such things like pain, conflict, injury, chaos or things we cannot control.  Peace is the confidence that God will protect us, provide for us and propel us through such things while keeping us in serenity and contentment. God made a promise in Isaiah 26:3 that reads, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  Peace is a blessing.  And peace is being content when all sorts of circumstances and challenges would suggest otherwise.
            A bit later in the Old Testament, we find two blessings like the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6.  Psalm 31:6 says, “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.”  Psalm 67:1 says, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us.”  The next verse, Psalm 67:2, tells us why God chooses to bless us and what He hopes will happen through His blessings.  We read, “So that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”  God blesses so He may be known and revered and exalted by the earth.  He blesses us that we might be living, breathing, talking and walking examples of His incomparable graciousness and goodness. We are advertisements and testimonials to Him and His salvation work.  We declare the glory and praises that are due to Him.  Have a great Thursday!  Join us for worship and Bible study on Sunday.  And remember you can see our worship at any hour at      

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