One of the most beautiful blessings in the Bible is on page 214, (Numbers 6:24-26) given to Moses to give to Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel.
“May the Lord bless you and protect you
May the Lord smile on you
And be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
And give you peace.”
Whenever I hear this passage I imagine God lavishing His blessing on me, as my protector, my friend and partner and generous provider. I have read this verse many times but as I began to write this blog the context of this verse in the story of Moses and the Israelites is what struck me.
Before this blessing is given, the children of Israel are assembled, getting ready to leave on a dangerous journey across the desert. Many of them were going to die in the wilderness. They were going to be assaulted by enemies. They were going to face thirst and starvation. They were going to face division and disention, and before they begin this arduous, dangerous, adventurous journey, God goes before them with a blessing, and one would think nothing would have been more comforting to them than the guarantee of God's sovereign blessing. That in and of itself plays into the whole story of Numbers, because over and over what will the people of God doubt in the wilderness? They will doubt God's purpose to bless them. Isn't it ironic? Before they ever set out, God says to them through Aaron ‘Let Me just make one thing perfectly clear’…. And He pronounces this blessing, and if they could have just believed that, how different the story of Numbers would have been. It would have been an entirely different book if they had believed what God said in this passage.
These pages go on to chronicle the journey and the many complaints the Israelites had about the hardships they endured and the food provided them. If they had only trusted God and His blessing and provision.
Sound at all familiar?? Perhaps we are not too different than the people in this story. If we truly believed that the Lord loves to bless us then how dramatically different our lives would be. We go through life so often thinking that our satisfaction will come from this pleasure, that job, these possessions or people liking us. We run around trying to stuff our hearts full of life and satisfy our longings somewhere else other than the blessing of Almighty God. If we could simply understand that God is the giver, He is the source, He is the author of the only blessing worth having and so only God can fill us up, it would dramatically change our lives.
I am convicted by these passages to show more trust in the Lord’s provision than the people of Israel in this story. To lean on, trust, and be confident in the Lord with all my heart and mind. I hope you be blessed as well.