Summary: This sermon looks at the blessing from God for us found in Numbers 6:22-27.
Next week we start a new series called “Resolution Revolution” based on a passage in Colossians. We’ll cover topics that hopefully will allow us to live out a life resolved to be new in Christ. We’ll talk about the idea that we have been rescued and redeemed by Christ, that we have a new authority in Him, and new freedom, and finally, we’ll look at the assurances we have of our faith in Christ. It should be fun...
This morning, I thought we would start the year of by looking at a blessing. As a Baptist, frankly, blessing is not a subject that I am that familiar with. Growing up, our ministers never really “blessed” us. I guess blessing for me was a reference to prayer - you said the “blessing” before the meal... A blessing is God’s expression of favor on you. In the passage we look at this morning, God commanded his priests to give his people a blessing from him. When I started looking at this passage this week, one image came to mind. It’s sort of funny actually, but a scene from Rocky II came to mind. You know the Rocky movies right... Rocky Balboa is a journeyman boxer that gets the chance to fight for a title fight. He’s a Philadelphia fighter and a neighborhood boy, and throughout the movie you see him gaining steam. In one scene he’s running in preparation for the big fight and he passes the priest’s window he shouts up to him for a blessing...
All of us want to be blessed. I doubt there is anyone here today who would say , “No, I don’t want to feel God’s blessing this year. I don’t need his approval or seek his presence in my life.”
I think God understands the desire we have, and in this passage in Numbers he gives instructions to the priests - READ TEXT.
How do you view blessing... One way to look at this text is to recognize how much God wants to be a part of your life. All of us see God is different ways. Some see God as a genie - if we pray the right things, and do the right things, he will give us what we want. Some of us are more afraid of God. Maybe because of our sin, maybe because of authority issues, we see God as a guy who is always frowning at us. He’s checking to see if we’ve been naughty...
I like this passage because I think above all we see God instructing the people in charge of being his representatives, to tell his people that he’s on their side. Just think about that for a second. God is for you. God is on your side. God has your back. It prompts a question... “In 2008, what could you do - what might you do differently - if you really understood that God was with you...”
Think of David standing before Goliath - able to do so, because my God is bigger than your God, Goliath!
Think of Daniel - able to pray even though it was outlawed, because he knew that God was on his side... And when the king sends him to his death, the next morning, it’s God who gets the glory...
Let’s look at this verse a little deeper... First, it’s really three blessings in one. Scholars tell us that the way it’s structured points to the trinity. It’s designed to be a model blessing, much like the Lord’s prayer. The word’s aren’t so important as the message.
That God wants to bless you and keep you
It’s God that is doing the blessing. It may come through a vessel like a priest or pastor, but it’s God that wants to bless you.
He also wants to keep you...
John 10:29 “...No one can snatch them from the father’s hand” - we use this with children, right? We hide a penny in our hand and say get it out. God hides us in his hand, and no one can separate you from him!
That God smiles on you and will show you mercy
Think about that... God smiles on you. He delights in you.
He will also show you mercy. Many scholars point to the first blessing being God the father, and this one being God the son. In Christ we were shown great mercy. It’s easy to buy into a lie of Satan that says you are no good. God seems here to want to remind you that He shows mercy!
That God’s attention is focused on you and he will give you peace
When my wife and I are talking I am often guilty of doing something else... Every now and again, I have to hit the pause on the TV, or turn off the radio and ask her to repeat something... Think about this. You have God’s full attention. He’s listening. He hears you.