Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Blessing

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:  The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.  And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them." 
~ Numbers 6:22-27
Observe, 1. That the blessing is commanded upon each particular person: The Lord bless thee. They must each of them prepare themselves to receive the blessing, and then they should find enough in it to make them every man happy. Blessed shalt thou be, Deut 28:3 . If we take the law to ourselves, we may take the blessing to ourselves, as if our names were inserted. 2. That the name Jehovah is three times repeated in it, and (as the critics observe) each with a different accent in the original; the Jews themselves think there is some mystery in this, and we know what it is, the New Testament having explained it, which directs us to expect the blessing from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, each of which persons is Jehovah, and yet they are "not three Lords, but one Lord," 2 Cor 13:14 . 3. That the favour of God is all in all in this blessing, for that is the fountain of all good. (1.) The Lord bless thee! Our blessing God is only our speaking well of him; his blessing us is doing well for us; those whom he blesses are blessed indeed. (2.) The Lord make his face shine upon thee, alluding to the shining of the sun upon the earth, to enlighten and comfort it, and to renew the face of it. "The Lord love thee and cause thee to know that he loves thee." We cannot but be happy if we have God's love; and we cannot but be easy if we know that we have it. (3.) The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee. This is to the same purport with the former, and it seems to allude to the smiles of a father upon his child, or of a man upon his friend whom he takes pleasure in. If God give us the assurances of his special favour and his acceptance of us, this will put gladness into the heart Psalm 4:7-8 4. That the fruits of this favour conveyed by this blessing are protection, pardon, and peace. (1.) Protection from evil, verse 24,The Lord keep thee, for it is he that keeps Israel, and neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4) and all believers are kept by the power of God. (2.) Pardon of sin, verse 25. The Lord be gracious, or merciful, unto thee. (3.) Peace (verse, including all that good which goes to make up a complete happiness.
III. God here promises to ratify and confirm the blessing: They shall put my name upon the children of Israel, verse 27. God gives them leave to make use of his name in blessing the people, and to bless them as his people, called by his name. This included all the blessings they could pronounce upon them, to mark them for God's peculiar, the people of his choice and love. God's name upon them was their honour, their comfort, their safety, their plea. We are called by thy name, leave us not. It is added, and I will bless them. Note, A divine blessing goes along with divine institutions, and puts virtue and efficacy into them. What Christ says of the peace is true of the blessing, "Peace to this congregation," if the sons of peace and heirs of blessing be there, the peace, the blessing, shall rest upon them, Luke 10:5-6 For in every place where God records his name he will meet his people and bless them."
~ From my reading in Matthew Henry

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1