The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:Numbers 6:24(KJV)
Sometimes we give a friend on the telephone or someone we meet in the street a quick 'God bless you' before we revert to the task in hand. Often, after Sunday service or at a mid-week Bible study, we may bid farewell to our brothers and sisters in Christ with the familiar words 'God bless you'. But the Lord gave a very specific command to Moses concerning the blessing of His people.
The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, 'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: The LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.'"
Aaron and the priests were the ones who had the authority to pronounce the blessing, protection, peace, and mercy on the people, because the Aaronic priesthood had been set apart, by the Lord, to act as human mediators between man and God. Aaron and his descendants were commanded to pronounce a very particular blessing over Israel - a blessing that invoked God, Himself, to graciously bless His people. The priests of the Lord were commanded by the Lord, to call on the Lord to pronounce a prayer of blessing over His people.
It was the priests of Israel whom God had set apart to be holy unto Him, who were to call on the Lord to bless His people. It was Aaron and his spiritual descendants who were commanded to make this appeal for God's blessing, on behalf of His people - so that God Himself would hear and answer their prayer. This was to be done and the opening words were, "The LORD bless you, and keep you."
God loves to bless His people and has given many precious promises of protection and peace over all who are His, and yet He felt it necessary to command Aaron, and his spiritual descendants, to petition Him for blessings on behalf of His people, which make us realise that prayers for God's blessing on others must be very important to the Lord.
Each promise is a blessing, and each pronounced blessing is a gracious gift from the Lord. And in the ages that are to come, the Church is to be an example to the angelic host, of the incomparable riches of God’s amazing grace, which are seen in His multiplied blessings towards us – in Jesus Christ our Lord. But in this world, we who are Christ's Body have similarly been commanded to pray for one another and to intercede on behalf of other people - to pray without ceasing and to be devoted to prayer.
God loves to bless His people, but He also wants His people to call on Him to ask for His blessings. It is the tri-unity of the Godhead that is being called upon to bless us in this verse. It is through the unity of the Trinity that we are presented with the many precious promises of our salvation, our sanctification, our glorification, and an eternal heritage that is kept for us in heaven.
It is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, together as One Who illuminates our hearts and leads us in the way of righteousness and peace. It is the united Godhead Who is calling us into blessed union with Christ and sweet communion with our Father in heaven. It is the eternal God Who is being invoked to bless us - and it is the Lord who wants us to summon Him to bless others.
Under the Old Covenant, the high priest was God’s appointed mediator between God and man – and between man and God. It was the high priest who was called upon to pray a blessing over His people, Israel. But under the New Covenant, it is Jesus Who is appointed our great High Priest, and He is now the one and only Mediator between God and man, and we are called to stand in the gap as we pray for God to bless others with the truth of the glorious gospel of grace.
What more wonderful benediction could be offered over any of us than the blessed invocation in this beautiful verse in Numbers chapter 6. And yet, by God’s grace, we have been called to be a kingdom of priests under the authority of Christ our great High Priest through whom blessings from God are being poured out to us and through us to others.
May the Lord bless us all and keep us, and may He cause His face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us and give us His peace. "May the LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." May we who have been so blessed by God to be His children, be used by Him as channels of His blessing through Whom the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is poured out in great measure to others, this day and forevermore, AMEN.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and I pray, Father, that You use me as a channel of Your blessing to others. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.