The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 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. “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27, ESV.
Instructions are passed from God through the mediator of the old covenant, Moses, to the first High Priest of Israel. Aaron is to instruct his sons, the priests to follow in his line, on how to bless the people. They are to pronounce a three-line benediction and, by doing so, identify Israel as the people of Yahweh (the LORD). I have no way of knowing, but I imagine this might have been a priest’s favorite duty.
The three lines of the blessing run in perfect parallel and build on one another. When we consider the first part of each line, we learn that the blessing comes from God and consists of God’s presence. His face and His countenance are the greatest gift man can know, for there is no greater blessing than fellowship with your Creator. From man’s very beginnings, this has been His best desire. Remember Adam walking with God in the Garden in the cool of the day? The results of this intimate fellowship with God are wonderful. The God who walks with you will keep you; you do not need to fear the loss of this fellowship. This is a gift of grace, given to undeserving sinful men. And it will, more so than any other blessing, bring peace to the hearts of men.
It is this kind of fellowship with God that identifies men and women as the people of God. It is this kind of fellowship that was purchased for sinners on the cross by Jesus Christ. Jesus came as Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23), and following His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the Father, sent another Helper to be with us forever, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). By grace through faith, we can know and be kept in intimate fellowship with our God today. We are blessed.
My prayer for you?
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.