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)
Each time God’s people gathered in the temple, the priest would conclude the gathering by speaking these words; words first given from God through Moses to Aaron; words of blessing for the people of God; words of deep significance.
To bless in the Old Testament is to ‘direct upon’ / ‘to endue with’…power for success, prosperity, divine favor. Central to the nature of God and a bedrock truth of our faith is the understanding, the belief that God desires to direct upon His people His divine favor. Genesis 1 tells us that God created and God blessed; His blessing is woven into His creation. When God blesses, He gives Himself to His people; He assures them of his presence and protection.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
My friends at Valley, as we begin a New Year, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May God reveal Himself to you, the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. In revealing Himself to you, my you be reminded that you are in a covenant relationship with God, who desires to bless you. As He directs His favor upon you, may you experience over and over again the wonder of His grace.
May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. May His smile accompany you on your journey that you might know His affection toward you, for you are the beloved of the Father! How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called that children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 1:3) Live accordingly! Live as Abba’s child! And rest is Him, for He is the source of life and joy and peace.
Happy New Year!