The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24–26, NIV)
The Lord wants to bless us.
While the Israelites were going to the promised land of Canaan after escaping Egypt, God called Moses to bless them through Aaron. Numbers 6:24–26 contains God’s thought and intention toward us. God, who created the Garden of Eden for us, still wants to bless and protect us in the world. He wants us to be safe from the evil that tempts us and the enemy that attacks us. Also, as the sun shines on the earth, God wants to shine His face upon us. As the earth is bright and warm by the sun and the plants photosynthesize with the sunlight, only when we get the light from God’s face, our way is safe, our spiritual breathing is not cut off, and our minds are healthy.
Shining His face upon us is like a father watching his child.
A father wants his child to do well all the time, and he is always worried about whether his child walks in a wrong way. He is satisfied just looking at his child, and even if his child does something wrong, he wants to forgive generously. Even though the child has given nothing to his father, the father always wants to give good things to him. In this way, God, our heavenly Father, wants us to do well and for things to go well, much greater than our earthly father does. At the outside, our physical father could be our father for one hundred years. However, the Lord is our heavenly Father forever. Our eternal Father God loves us much more than our physical father. He wants to be merciful on us just because of the relationship, in which He is our Father and we are His children. Had it not been for His mercy coming from the relationship, we would not have received all the blessings that we have on the earth, as Numbers 6:24–26 mentioned.
What Is Blessing?
“Everything we receive from God as His children is a blessing.”
Blessing is defined as “God’s favor and protection” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Like Numbers 6:24–26, the dictionary also defines it as God’s protection and mercy coming from our relationship with the Father. The Bible refers to the blessing of the Lord in many types and angles.
Jeremiah 31:12 explains about the blessing that the Israelites, who were taken captive to Babylon, would return and gain. The first is their recovery. The deep sorrow and hardship they had suffered in captivity to Babylon because of their sins would disappear, and their hearts would be restored and praise God again. Second, they gain the grain, the new wine, and the oil. Just as man did not worry about food in the Garden of Eden, they would get enough food and drink through the supply of God and be thankful to God. Third, they get a heritage. They would rejoice over the flocks and herds offering milk, leather, meat, and labor, and they would glorify the Lord by sacrificing their first fruits to God. Fourth, they gain the spiritual abundance. The word of God and the Spirit, like the water of life, would always be with them, and their souls would be like a watered garden and never dry. Finally, they would always be in peace without worry. Restoration, enough supply, inheritance, God’s word, and peace was mentioned as the blessing in the verses.
Job, a representative figure of perseverance, was a hugely blessed man of God. He was upright and blameless for all things, and he feared the Lord. God was very proud of Job and gave him many blessings. Then one day, incredible catastrophes came upon Job for no reason. All his sons and daughters died in one day, and many of the cattle he possessed were plundered or burned, and all the servants who belonged to him died or left Job. At last, Job suffered from severe disease and had painful days by scratching his skin with a tile. However, he never did betray or curse God during his longsuffering. When the time of the Lord came, He finally restored Job and gave more blessings than before. According to Job 42:12, the Lord gave Job fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. God also gave him seven sons and three daughters again. The Bible says no one was as beautiful as Job’s daughters. God’s blessings on Job were restoration, wealth, and proud children.
The word blessing is often used in Genesis in the Bible, and Abraham was a representative figure of blessing. God told Abraham to leave his hometown and go to the land where God would show. Abraham immediately left his hometown to obey without knowing where it was. To Abraham, God promised great blessings in Genesis 12:2–3.
First, God promised that Abraham would make a great nation, though he had no children. If he had not trusted God, Abraham would not have left his hometown, following the promise. However, he responded with faith and left his father’s house in practice. Finally, he made the great nation of Israel and became the forefather of faith to all Christians.
Second, God said that He would raise Abraham’s name highly. Indeed, the dynasties of Israel and Judah, including David, were all Abraham’s lineage, and Jesus, born of the Holy Spirit, was also a descendant of Abraham in the physical genealogy. Abraham’s name got exalted as the Lord promised. It contrasts with the way Nimrod tried to raise his name on his own by building up a tower in Shinar. The Lord lowers the proud and raises the humble. It means that man’s fame is also God’s blessing.
Third, God said to Abraham, “You will be a blessing.” It means Abraham himself becomes a blessing and the source of it. Thus, Abraham’s life itself would become an example of blessing, and his descendants and everyone who knew Abraham would want and pray to be blessed like him.
Fourth, God said to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.” God stood on the side of Abraham and Abraham on the side of God so that God and Abraham made an alliance. Therefore, to love Abraham is to love God, and to attack Abraham is to attack God. Indeed, the Lord made Abraham’s descendants, the Israelites, as his people, and all the countries that hated Israel became the enemies against God. It was a remarkable blessing.
Finally, God’s blessing reached the peak by saying to Abraham, “All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” We, who live now, are also beneficiaries because Jesus, who was a descendant of Abraham in the physical genealogy, died on the cross, and all the people who believe in Jesus will be saved. Among all blessings, nothing is greater than eternal life gained through salvation. Eventually, this blessing was completed when Jesus came to earth in the flesh.
Likewise, God wants to bless all of us now living on the earth. As the Lord and we have the relationship of father and children, He always wants to give us good things without any conditions, like our fathers do. Therefore, everything we receive from God as His children is all blessings.