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)
We hear this so many times at church. It means the service is over and we can go home. It’s a nice way of ending things on a Sunday morning, but what is its significance?
Most significantly, it is an invitation to follow and obey God. Obedience is not a word we like to hear, and in all to many cases it connotes authoritarian rule over the community, as if God were warning us to be good or else.
But that is not what God calls us to do. He has given us everything we need, but He has so much more to offer.
Other Blessings in the Bible
Similar and other wonderful blessings are found in Scripture. Here are a few.
May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. (Genesis 28:3)
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. (Deuteronomy 28:3-6)
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. (1 Samuel 2:9-10)
Must know our own shortcomings to fully receive the blessing
In order to fully appreciate God’s magnificent perfection, we must first realize our own shortcomings. “The Lord bless you and keep you…” gives us an insight into His promise of eternal salvation.
He will bless us and He will keep us. Jesus said He will never leave us or forsake us. But human nature doesn’t necessarily allow for God to offer us the best of everything just for turning to Him.
No, we are looking for the catch. What’s He really saying? That’s the logic that the serpent used inn the Garden of Eden, to deceive Adam and Eve into disobeying God.
We seldom think of our desire for “more” as a shortcoming. But the very fact that we are so easily deceived is indication enough that we’re pretty helpless and insatiable.
God always offers us more!
God continuously reaches out to us and offers us “more.” In fact, he withholds nothing. The universe was created for the Lord Jesus, and we are joint heirs to that Kingdom. Yes, the Kingdom of God expands far beyond this planet. To His sons and daughters go the entire estate.
Imagine hearing the reading of the will of a fabulously wealthy person and you get everything. Only nobody dies, the whole lot is ours to enjoy and share with the one who made us. Being a part of that family is so much better than being on your own, slugging it out on the mean streets.
In anticipation of the great gift, we are given His peace. His shalom. This gives us the ability to turn to God and avoid being deceived. It gives us contentment. Regardless of our station in life, God’s promise is solid. He will bless us and keep us. His face will, shine on us and He will be gracious. He will turn His face toward us and give us His shalom.
Nothing is going to top that offer.