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The Blessing

Artprize portrait of “the nations”

I’ve mentioned before how puzzled (and intrigued) I am with “The Blessing” God gave Aaron and his sons to pray over the nation of Israel.

Seemingly out of nowhere— for chosen ones who fall so short of their calling, God gives the priests of Israel a way of mediating divine favor and generosity with the words,

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.”’ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, (says the Lord) and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:24-27)

Lately I’ve been finding echoes of this blessing. For example, Psalm 67 rewords the Aaronic blessing into a desire and a prayer: “May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.

This time, however, the thought seems to flow through the Jewish songwriter into something far more than a nationalistic longing. This time the blessing sounds even more gracious, generous, and expansive. This time the songwriter actually says,

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us— so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”

Repeatedly, the lyrics of this ancient song go on to reach out so benevolently far beyond the borders of the sons and daughters of Jacob. This time the desire and prayer for blessing reach out to “people of the whole world” (v 4); “all the nations” (v5); “so that God will richly bless us…and so people all over the world will fear (reverently trust) him (v7).

Seems, at the very least, to be a reminder that the One who wants us to think of him as our God and our Father has a heart to love and to bless far more than us, our family, our group, and our nation.

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93 Responses to “The Blessing”

  1. Mart DeHaan says:

    Foreverblessed, even though you thought you were “off topic” this morning, you may not have been :-)… You’re ahead of some of us in time, and maybe also in your name and national celebration today. Am bringing your thoughts forward and copying here. Hope you have a wonderful rest of day.

    foreverblessed says:
    April 27, 2017 at 5:16 am (Edit)
    Off topic:
    Today is Kingsday in our country, just a big festival, every town city and village has a festivity.

    Many youngsters from countries around us come to the Neteherlands to join us.

    The king and his family visits a city, at 11 he arrived in Tilburg. And the city shows what it has. (it is on the national tv now, adn I am watching it. They arrived by train, and I saw on the train station clock that there was a delay of 5 minutes, no not real time, but a 5 minutes later)

    Now that I am older I am beginning to appreciate our royal family. Being a republic can be OK, but strange people can get into power I have noticed over the years. These royal people have been trained from their youth for the job. And this family that we have in our country is quite responsible. We used to have queens for over a hundred years. Beatrix, the mother of our king Willem Alexander was a very good and sensible woman, but Willem is doing a good job too, with his wife beside him. It was so good to see that a man can imprive being a man by a good wife to stand next to him. A loving relation and a sparring partner. They have three daughters, the oldest is 12.
    Now they are showing 50 piano’s, playing a piec of music for our king, as he turns 50 today.

    Just some side information.

  • SFDBWV says:

    Coming in late to this new topic and that means less uninterrupted time to write. My apologies if my thoughts sound broken.

    Islamic believers believe that the Jew corrupted the Bible in order to make the Jew look and sound blessed of God all the while making only the line of blessing contributed to Abraham to Isaac to Jacob/Israel.

    This desecration of the “truth” as they see it is one reason that they “hate” the Jew and or people/nation of Israel.

    If you buy into the lie of Islam then you will look for every opportunity to find a reason not to “bless” Israel as you read and learn about God in the OT.

    As you pick up on the arrival of Messiah Jesus, as Christian believers you can easily see that the entire world was blessed through the people Israel by the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

    If you can understand it, all of humankind was also blessed by the Jew’s rejection and subsequent execution of our Lord at the hands of the Romans.

    God used Israel to accomplish His will, His way.

    Because we believe God to be the same eternally; the promises He made He keeps and if you are a student of Scripture you see that in the end after the number of the gentiles has been fulfilled, God’s attention, His protection and His blessings once again return to the nation of Israel.

    In fact all of prophesy is seen through the example and placement of Israel to the end of the age and return of Christ to reign and rule from Jerusalem.

    He who blesses Israel He will bless, he who curses Israel He will curse. As it is written.