Saturday, 10 November 2018

Bless You

Bless You
Numbers 6:22-27

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, “This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “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.” So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
                The words bless, blessed and blessing are found over 500
times in the bible and describe such diverse things as rain, bumper crops, babies and salvation from sin. God blesses all kinds of people and through them brought blessing to the whole world. But what is a blessing?
                A blessing is any act of God that brings Him glory by accomplishing His will and helping His people grow and do His will. You cannot buy blessings or manufacture them as they can come only from God. God’s blessings are gracious gifts from heaven that meet our needs in ways that build us up and help us glorify the Lord.
                In some churches today just before the time of worship is over, a blessing is shared. It is also called a benediction which often is a biblical statement that states something good. This benediction enables the listener to receive a blessing in order to be a blessing to others in the coming week. But what are the blessings that God wants us to receive from Him and share with others? As followers of Jesus and believers in God’s love, we are channels of God’s blessings and not reservoirs only.
                Benediction of Israel  (Numbers 6:22-27) may be considered in three ways—the benediction of Israel the nation; Israel the man who founded the 12 tribes and ‘the Israel of God” that Paul mentions in Galatians 6:16.
A)      Benediction of Israel the Nation  God mentions the Israelites and they are the only nation in history that has entered into a covenant relationship with God. This began with God’s call to Abraham and the ‘covenant of a great nation’ (Gen 12:2-3)
Paul tells also of the blessings God gave the Jewish nation- Romans 9:3-5
God chose Jews to be His special people and gave them a land in which to live as long as they obeyed God’s law. Even though they were dispersed around the world the Jewish people were never assimilated into the other nations. Israel has glory and grace as well as provision and protection.

B)      Israel the man Jacob
Three experiences with God transformed Jacob into a man of God and a channel of God’s blessing to others: i) Jacob flees from his brother Esau and turns to God. He is assured by God that he would be blessed including the land of Canaan and descendants would bless the world.
ii) Jacob  sees the face of God after struggling with him. Gen32:22-32
iii)Jacob and son Joseph reunited and safe again in Egypt (Gen46:1-4,47-49)

When we consider this blessing/benediction- have we considered the 3 Israels or primarily the country of the Jewish nation? Does it make a difference for you that Jacob/ Israel was blessed by God in 3 different times and ways? What does this blessing mean for you?

NEXT week—We will include the 3rd way God blesses Israel in this benediction and reflect on it more.. meanwhile Pray the words of the blessing over and over. Reflect on the words bless and keep you; make face shine, turn his face…what do these mean to you in this moment?

PRAYER Holy God bless us O God through the words we have uttered many times before. Bless us as we praise your holy name. In Christ Jesus we ask. Amen.

Warren W. Wiersbe.  Bless You: Receiving and Sharing the Blessings of the Lord. Grand Rapids,MI: Our Daily Bread Ministries, 8th printing- 2018. (p.7-22)

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