The Northfield

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  Northfield, NJ 08225

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Church of Christ

11/20/2013

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The Blessings Of A Priest


"The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift His countenance on you, And give you peace" (Num.6:24-26)

Tucked away in the Book of Numbers is this little gem. It has at times been called "The Lord's Prayer of the Old Testament," and is a blessing with which Aaron and his sons are to confer upon the children of Israel. For its lovely poetic beauty, I give thanks. At this time in their history, Aaron and his sons made up the priesthood of Israel and so it has also been referred to as "The Priestly Blessing." Breaking the blessing down may help us to understand its significance, that we may get a blessing from it... When Aaron says, "The Lord bless you and keep you," the blessing begins. Most Bible dictionaries tell us that the word bless denoted the idea of well-being and prosperity. There is a slight hitch however. "All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God" (Deut.28:2). You might want read and meditate upon Deut.28:1-6 to get a flavor of what these blessings were all about. The conditional aspect of the blessing is plain and simple. The children of Israel were to obey the Lord their God. Hmmmm... Does this sound familiar today? The blessings that we receive from God are also conditional upon our obedience to Him... As we take apart the first part of the blessing a bit further, we find the word "keep." The Lord wanted to bless them and keep them... I am relatively sure that keep meant to provide care for them, and to guard and protect them. If you are in the mood to read today, Psalm 121 would be a good one to read and contemplate. I will cherry pick from it just a bit... "From where shall my help come from? My help comes from the Lord...." "He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper..." "The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and coming in from this time forth and forever." The first part of this wonderful benediction calls on God to be like a shepherd watching over His flock. When it was written, Israel was His flock, but today, we are. To receive the awesome first part of the Lord's blessing, we must be compliant with His will... With that, I offer this today... "The Lord Bless You and Keep You...."

Have a great day... Let His light shine through you.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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