The Blessing of God upon those who seek him.

The Blessing of God upon those who seek him.

Read Numbers 6:22-27

"The Lord bless you and keep you."

The book of Number begins God outlining the various responsibilities that people are to have concerning the Tabernacle. In order to maintain the service and worship of God, various clans from the tribe of Levite were given specific tasks to perform. Although the primary task of the ongoing religious activities fell upon the Levitical Priesthood, others were also given responsibility and opportunity to serve. Every firstborn male from both the cattle and the people was also to be dedicated to the service of God. However, provision was made for the firstborn male from each family to be exempted from their responsibility by redeeming them with five shekels for each person.

Along with the priests' responsibility, the people were likewise responsible for maintaining their moral and spiritual purity (chapter 5). For those who defiled themselves by wronging others, provision was made for their cleansing through confession and restitution. Furthermore, strict laws and judgment against any act of adultery highlighted the importance of family and marriage fidelity.

The first section of Numbers then concludes with the provision made for individuals who are not from the tribe of Levite and yet desire to serve God. For those who desired to dedicate themselves to serving in the ministry of the Tabernacle, they could take a vow of a Nazirite. This vow was voluntary and could be for a lifetime or a specific length of time. Furthermore, this invitation for service was available to both men and women.

Having called and instructed people in their responsibilities, God then instructs Aaron to offer a Benediction not only for the Levites and Nazirites but also for Israel's whole tribe. This benediction, which is conveyed through the beauty of Hebrew poetry, serves to high God's desire to bless the nation of Israel as they dedicate themselves to serve him. The song produces a crescendo of blessings, culminating in the final blessing of peace. In these verses, God provides the blessings that he desires to bestow upon his people if they walk in obedience to him. First, he promises to keep them. If they maintain their fidelity to the covenant, God will guard and protect them for generations to come. The second blessing focuses upon the good pleasure and acts that God will bestow upon them by granting them mercy and grace. He then promises to lift up His countenance upon them. The express speaks of the countenance of pleasure and affection that one has when they look upon someone they love. As they walk in obedience to him, God will find pleasure and joy in them. This then culminates in his grating of peace. But this peace involves but is not limited to peace from enemies and freedom from hostilities. This peace can also speak of unity, well-being, health, and wholeness.

All these blessings are avail if they seek his name (vs. 27). To "invoke My name on the on the sons of Israel" is to seek to be identified with and remain faithful to the covenant that God has made with them. Through this prayer, God provides them the opportunity to experience the full reality of his blessing that he delights to give his people.

What was true of Israel then is equally true for us today. The same blessing that God offered to the nation, he offers to us through the name of Jesus. As we Identify which Christ and affirm our allegiance to him, he promises to give us the same blessing of his grace, presence, and peace. The only requirement on our part is to prayerfully seek him. The gracious God invites you to enjoy his blessing if you just surrender to him.

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