Summary: Our text today is often used as the benediction at the end of the service. It is taken from Numbers 6:22-27. I want to show both the meaning to this blessing as well as examples of how God throughout time has enacted this blessing on His people.
Some fun with origins to start the message.
“God Bless You” - AD 590 Pope Gregory I commanded unending prayer and to say God bless you after a person sneezed, since sneezing was one of the first signs of the plague
“Good Bye” - from 1565, the original phrase was “God be with ye” became contracted down to Good bye”
when someone says Good bye to you, you can reply, “And God also be with you”
At the end of our church services, we always have a Benediction
Benediction is latin word.
Bene = Good
Diction = Word
In Genesis 1, as God created the world, he would make this comment daily, “It is Good”.
And so the benediction is God’s good word and approval on what he has created and is sustaining.
The benediction is at the end of the service then, because it is at the conclusion of what God has done here, and will continue to sustain in his church.
Our text today is often used as the benediction at the end of the service. It is taken from Numbers 6:22-27.
I want to show both the meaning to this blessing as well as examples of how God throughout time has enacted this blessing on His people.
Numbers 6:22–23 (HCSB)
22 The Lord spoke to Moses: 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
Aaron and his sons had been chosen to be Priests by God himself.
This blessing takes on a very special tone, when we realize that it is God commanding his priests to bless his people.
God is not forced to bless us
This is His decision, this is His desire
The words that I will go on to explain today are God’s desires for his people.
we will see how God makes these desires possible for his people, for apart from God, nothing that follows could happen in any of our lives.
But with God, all of this is not only possible, it is certain. (2 Cor 1:20)
The structure for this blessing is worth pointing out.
3 sets of 2 promises, with the second one always building on the first
God states his name, “Yahweh” three times here, perhaps one time for each member of the trinity.
Typically, when this benediction is pronounced, we conclude with the three persons of the trinity, “In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.”
Numbers 6:24 (HCSB)
24 May Yahweh bless you and protect you;
What does the word “bless” mean?
Tim Keller explains blessing in the context of the Family Blessing that was given by the Father to his children.
In one sense, the father declares all of the good things that he desires for the child to accomplish.
In the other sense, he is dividing up his property and bestowing it on that child so that the good can be achieved.
When God blesses us, He is saying that he longs for these good things to happen for us, and what’s more, is that he gives us Himself in order to secure that blessing in our lives.
It is God consistently bringing good into our lives.
How will the blessed life look?
Psalm 1:1–3 (HCSB)
1 How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! 2 Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Can you say that you never once followed the advice of the wicked, and never took the path of sinners and never joined a group of mockers?
I bet that we would all like to say that our delight is fully in the Lord’s instruction, and that as a result we are like the fruitful tree of Psalm 1, prospering in all we do.
But even though we pray this over our lives, we see its true fulfilment in Jesus Christ.
He is the one without sin, the one who never failed in the face of temptation.
A blessing is God’s desire for us that he could consistently do good in our lives, but because of sin, we cut ourselves off from God.
God not only pronounces his blessing on us, he also makes it possible to bless us.
This is accomplished through Jesus Christ. He became the curse, so that we could be blessed.
Children of God, you are most blessed, because God has chosen to bless you, and to bring about his blessings for you. It is more than mere words, it is a gift.