Today’s Scripture Selection: Numbers 6:22-27
The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
‘“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.” ’“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Along with all the instructions and regulations about holiness and temple practices, there is a blessing in the book of Numbers which I have always liked. Maybe one reason is because I can remember my father, who was a hospital chaplain, using it often to conclude his chapel services.
It is also memorable because of its lovely wording.
The King James Version puts it this way,
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
So simple and to the point, it describes the very essence of God’s blessing upon us:
- Making his face to shine upon us
- Being gracious toward us
- Lifting up his countenance upon us
- Giving us his peace
With such a blessing, we can face and endure much.
This ancient blessing also gives us a good model to follow.
As people of God, we can look upon others in kindness, offer a bit of grace, look kindly upon them, and gift a gift of peace. It is so much more than an official priestly or ministerial benediction.
It’s the way to live, in Christ’s name.