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 14, 2018
Continuing with the Benediction of Israel (Numbers 6:22-27) we noted that it was considered in three ways—a) the benediction of Israel the nation; B) Israel the man who founded the 12 tribes and ‘C) the Israel of God” that Paul mentions in Galatians 6:16. the Israel of God.
Who is the Israel of God? Is there is a difference in identifying this nation/people faithful community but are we understanding these as such?
Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches focuses primarily on the relationship of the Jewish law to the message of grace. Paul stated that all true believers are the spiritual children of Abraham and share in God’s promised blessing. Gal 3:6-15 If you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s see and heirs according to the promise.
Under old covenant Israel is in relationship with God. But with Christ, this relationship is the church. The church can say with Israel—“The lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” and “I will fear no evil” Because Jesus is our Shepherd, as we trust and follow him, we always have provision and protection. This is because God blesses the Church and Keeps it. God blesses those who follow him and prove that they are His because they listen to him. Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of the Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21
In reading this portion of this blessing do you understand it differently? How? For many to read the ISRAEL as the church enables them to think that this means me, not just the people who entered the Promised Land, but those who today come to Christ and follow him. They are living out their faith in Christ as they serve their church.
Jesus prayed that His true disciples would be with Him in heaven and that the Father always answers the prayers of His Son (John 11:41-42) When a believer dies, the Father answers this prayer and take that soul to heaven to dwell in the place Jesus has prepared.
NEXT week—We will consider the words” God makes His face to shine on us and is gracious to us”
Meanwhile Pray the words of the blessing over and over. Reflect on the words and pray for clarity in meaning.
PRAYER Thank you God that you call us your people –Israel the church, children in faith and co-heirs with Christ. Thank you for this enduring blessing as we continue to bless others in your name. 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.22-24)