The Lord bless you…

Until today, I thought the blessing given by the pastors and priests at the end of the worship service was a nice prayer, a nice thing to say, but written by man. During a Scripture reading this morning, I learned the truth.

About one year into the Israelite’s journey in the wilderness, and right after the Tabernacle was completed,
“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.
‘”

Numbers 6:24-26

To read that was coming directly from the Lord’s mouth put it in such different light!

In reading this blessing, a few things stand out to me that show the meanings of what God truly wanted his people to have: (this list is from the ESV Study Bible notes)
– The Lord bless you: with good harvest, peace, children, his own presence,
– The Lord keep you: to guard, to protect,
– Make His face shine upon you: a. God’s presence is like sunshine, b. a shining face is a smiling face, a pledge of God’s good favor,
– The Lord lift up his countenance upon you: the expression of one’s face – this involves taking notice of (looking at them) and treating his people with positive favor,
– give you peace: not just lack of war, but total well-being.

My friends, I am confidently asking the Lord to bless you today. As His people, as believers in and followers of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, we can ask for and be ready to accept his blessings in our life!
Please accept this gift today:

“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.
‘”

Food for thought: According to Got Questions, In the Bible, there are many words that are translated as ‘blessing” or “bless”. The one most often used for “bless” in the Old Testament Hebrew is “barak“, meaning to praise, congratulate or salute, but can also mean to curse. An Old Testament Hebrew word for ‘blessing” is “esher“, which means happiness. In the New Testament Greek, “blessing” can be either “makarios“, the meaning of happiness, or “eulogeo”, means good words or good report, to speak well of one (as in when they die), like in a eulogy.
Summary: A blessing is a statement of good will and happiness that is said about another, as well as the condition that fulfills those good words.

Fun facts: Rain is counted as a blessing, as it provides needed water for the growth of grass and plants, which in turn feeds the animals and people. It also cleanses as well as provides fresh water.
In dry, hot places, rain sometimes evaporates before it hits the ground. Environmentalist Edward Abbey describes “phantom rain” this way: “You see curtains of rain dangling in the sky while the living things wither below for want of water. Torture by tantalizing, hope without fulfillment. Then the clouds dissipate into nothingness.”

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Glowing rain

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