Thursday, February 12, 2009

Counting Blessings...

Numbers 5 and 6 cover a lot of territory, but I want to jump right to the end where the Lord told Moses to have the priests bless the children of Israel in a very specific manner.

Here is the blessing from Numbers 6: 24-27
24‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’
27 Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”

BLESS: God blesses. There is no other source of blessing, and what's more, he delights in blessing his children. What doesn't occur to us sometimes is that blessings can come in unexpected packages and they can even be unrecognized if we don't have grateful hearts.

PROTECT: The word "protect" is also translated "keep" in other versions and either way, what an amazing thing to know that God wants to pronounce his intention to keep or protect us. A daily prayer of mine is that he will keep me from evil and keep the evil one from me. I pray that same prayer for my loved ones as well, and I have seen God move in ways that are nothing short of miraculous.

SMILE: "Smile" can also be translated "shine," and either way, God's glorious face looking on us with pleasure is an idea that is without question one of the most precious thoughts imaginable. To think that despite all the reasons he has for frowning, he instead smiles in our direction, is amazing. The most important thing to remember about this is that for Christians today, he smiles because when he sees us, he sees his Son in us, and that means we are beautiful sights to him.

GRACIOUS: Knowing that gracious God gives us gracious grace is just about as gratifying as anything can be. And that is good and glorious to know.

FAVOR: If we are favored by God, we are, of all people, most blessed. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and there is nothing impossible for him. To be favored by the one who created the moon, the sun, the stars, and the planets, is unfathomably fabulous.

PEACE: Peace-Shalom--God's word for wholeness. God's promise of goodness. The idea that calm prevails when chaos pours. The peace that passes understanding is the promise that our precious Jesus provides.

The promise at the end of this beautiful benediction is that when it was pronounced, God would bless. And he still does.

Thank you Father that you alone bless me with gracious protection, favor, and the shining glory of your radiant love. And in this chaotic world, I praise you for your peace.

Shining light of His great goodness, favor, blessings I have known
Gracious hope of life eternal, precious peace from God alone.

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