The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

11/21/2013

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Gracious Me


"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift His countenance upon you, And give you peace" (Num.6:22-26).

If today's verses look familiar to you, you get a chicken dinner... I used them yesterday. In continuing with the blessing of the Lord which was conferred upon the children of Israel by Aaron the high priest and his sons, lets delve into them a bit further. The Lord making His face to shine upon them, is most likely an idiomatic statement. I think it meant that the Lord's "smile" indicated that He wanted to show favor on the people... He wanted to be gracious to them. Being gracious means to bestow favor, especially when it is not merited. Face shining is used in other places in the Bible..."O God, restore us and cause your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved" (Psa.80:3).... "Make your face to shine upon Your servant; save me in your loving kindness" (Psa.31:16). We can see the parallel nature of this benediction as it suggests that the favor refers to the blessing that was mentioned before. "The Lord bless you and keep you." Though the blessings are unmerited and conditional, the Lord wants to do it anyway. It would seem that "the Lord lift His countenance upon you" is very similar to the face shining or smiling... It strongly suggest an affection and pleasure, perhaps accompanied by approval and recognition. As the promised blessing closes, Aaron mentions the Lord giving them peace. Rather than an absence of war,(they did fight a lot) this peace probably refers to their fullness and well-being along with a positive state of righteousness. The Lord promises them peace if they are faithful. "The steadfast mind You will keep in perfect peace. Because He trusts in you" (Isa.26:3). In that God wanted Aaron and his sons to pass this benediction on the children of Israel, shows that the Lord really wanted to bless and provide for them. But this is today.... 2013.... Do we think that God wants to bless us in this way today? It is something you may want to give some thought and prayer to. It will be the subject of tomorrow's devotional...

Have a wonderful day... Go about doing good.. Love mark Phil.4:11

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