Summary: A sermon that uses the Aaronic priesthood blessing as a blessing for God’s people in the New Year. Note the archaeological find of the scroll of the Aaronic blessing.
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A. As we come into a new year we often think about what the future holds.
B. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness, Psalm 65:11
C. Let’s begin the New Year on a positive note, with a timely blessing and a timeless benediction. Read Numbers 6: 22-27
II. BACKGROUND TO THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
A. The Book of Numbers
1. The Book of Numbers recorded the movement of the children of Israel after Sinai.
2. The first four chapters of Numbers is the count of the people, chapters 5-10, refers to the counsel they receive. The passage we are dealing with is a part of God’s counsel to the nation.
a. The first four chapters deal with the outward position of the camp, and next six chapters deal with the inward condition of the people.
3. NUMBERS, teaches the identity of the people of God, God’s provision for authority over His people, and God’s plan for their fulfillment as a nation.
a. It answers the questions:
1. "Who are the people of God?"
2. "Who is in charge here?" and,
3. "What are we doing?"
B. Numbers 6: 1-21
1. Numbers Chapter Five taught them things that needed to be avoided, but Numbers chapter six gives the teaching of the Nazarite vow, In some ways is a teaching on the dedicated and sanctified Christian.
2. The challenge of the Nazarite ministry was designed to challenge all Israelites to a life of deeper dedication to the Lord.
3. Only the sons of Aaron could be priests, but any Israelite could be a Nazarite.
4. A Nazarite was to be “Holy to Yahweh”
5. It was a great teaching of sanctification for a people that would be in the midst of the Canannite nations.
a. James Smith, Pentateuch, College Press, resource for Numbers
C. Numbers 6: 22-26
1. This passage is the benediction that God gave the priests to invoke God’s blessing upon the whole of the nation.
2. The priestly blessing also served to sanctify the camp.
a. Omitting from the count the name Yahweh, the blessing consists of twelve words in accordance with the twelve tribes.
b. The blessing is directed to the whole people and not just the individual.
3. This blessing was God’s formula for applying God’s word to their lives.
4. The theme of the Pentateuch is the theme of Deuteronomy that is you obey God you will be blessed and if you disobey him you will be cursed.
5. It was God’s direction to pray over the people this way.
6. It is my desire to convey these blessings upon the church.
7. I would love to see you greatly blessed in 20--
8. This was the priestly blessing, sometimes called the Aaronic benediction.
9. God told Aaron, the high priest over Israel, to pronounce this blessing over them. In a special way it’s for me and you as we enter into a New Year.
III. THE BODY OF THE MESSAGE
A. “The Lord Bless Thee”
1. The first part of the priestly prayer was for God’s blessing.
2. There is nothing like being genuinely blessed of God.
3. We have God’s blessing in triplicate.
a. Three times the name of Jehovah is mentioned in this benediction.
b. The triple use of the word reminds us of Isaiah 6, Holy, Holy, Holy. This indicates the intensity of what God was saying.
c. The Israelites did not understand the doctrine of the Trinity as we do, but this passage wasn’t written just for them.
d. These passage were written for God’s people of all ages.
e. This blessing suggests the Trinity, we have a similar passage in the New Testament.
1. II Corinthians 13: 14
a. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
1. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The love of God.
3. The communion of the Holy Ghost.