22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
24 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
This benediction that we often hear after church services was what God taught the priests in the OT to say when they bless the Israelites.
How does God bless his people? Why bless and keep? To bless is to keep. To keep is to retain or be in possession of. When God keeps me by his side, in his hands, under his watchful eyes, that is a blessing. It means that I am under his care. It means that I belong to him and he belongs to me. He’s got my back no matter what happens, he’s with me.
What does it mean that the Lord turns his face toward me? I recall how God turned his face away from Jesus when he was on the cross. What agony that was for Jesus that he cried: My God, my God, why have thou forsaken me? God turned his face away from his only begotten Son because the weight of the world’s sin was upon Jesus on the cross. When God’s face is turned towards me, it means his favor is upon me. It means he’s pleased with me. Again, I’m under his watchful eyes and care. And that should keep me in perfect peace… peace beyond human understanding.
And that is how God bless – to put his name upon his people. When you put your name upon something, you own it. You are placing your stake by it. Your signature represents your person. When God blesses me, he signs for me, and on me to claim the ultimate Shalom!
A blessed day to you, dear friend. Do you know the Lord who blesses? Do you know Jesus? Read the Bible and find out.