In Numbers 6:24-26, Jesus commands the priest to pronounce these benefits on His people: Verse 24 The LORD bless you and keep you. Verse 25 The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. Verse 26 The LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.
I am interpreting these Scriptures in a Christ-centered way, a Trinitarian way. If you missed it, you can go back and read Jesus’ Blessing (Part 1).
These verses express God’s loving-kindness first for Old Testament Israel and now for Christ’s followers from every nation, tribe, people, and language. The Lord of the universe (Father, Son, and Spirit), the Creator of all things, atones for our sins through Jesus’ blood and righteousness, Christ’s doing, dying, and rising for us. And He wants the very best for us. Since the Lord is our Shepherd who feeds, guides, and shields us, we shall never be in need.1 He gives us good things in this life as His free gift and paradise with Him in a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.2 Ephesians 1:3-14 contains a hymn to the Trinity and this blessing in Numbers 6 as comes from God the Father, Son, and Spirit.
When Christ is our Lord and Savior, we are holy to God under the umbrella of Jesus’ righteousness. We are no longer condemned because of our un-righteousness. The Lord is our protector and our defender and He wants us near Him. God the Father keeps us and guards us close to His heart where we are eternally safe. You, Christians are loved with God’s everlasting love and underneath you are Christ’s everlasting arms.3 We looked at Verse 24 in Part 1, now we examine Verse 25.
Verse 25: The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
Mark Stibich of Columbia University writes about the health benefits of smiling. Smiling relaxes us, makes our body perform better, and boosts our immune system. When we’re less stressed, our blood pressure improves. That’s good, but Numbers 6:25 promises better. It says Jesus smiles on His beloved followers! God the Son created the heavens and the earth, and in the fullness of time He became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Then Christ loved us so much that He gave Himself up for us on the cross as a sacrifice to God and reconciled us to God by His death and resurrection.4 Now Jesus smiles on us who trust and obey Him, and He is not ashamed to call us His little brothers and sisters, and He makes us God’s adopted daughters and sons.5 Wow!
If our smiling is good for our health, it’s infinitely better that Christ loves us, smiles on us, and gives us His grace, mercy, and peace! And because Jesus smiles on us, we are to bless others, forgive them, and pray for those who mistreat us. We are to give to others and do to others as we would have them do to us.6 We are to extend God’s love and acceptance to friends, relatives, work associates, and neighbors. When we bless others in words and actions, relationships are enriched and people’s lives can be changed forever. The Lord Jesus Himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”7
The Best Is Yet to Come.
Hymnwriter, Norman Clayton (1903-1992) was born in Brooklyn, NY, the ninth of ten children, and was brought to trust in Christ at a young age. He worked in construction but also wrote many gospel songs based on Scripture. One was called, “We Shall See His Lovely Face.” Because of God’s mercy to him, Norman offered himself as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to Jesus’ service and pleasing Him. At the age of 92, Clayton finally experienced the joy of what he had written earlier, passing into eternity and seeing the Lord Jesus in paradise.
Here is the opening stanza of Clayton’s hymn: We shall see His lovely face some bright golden morning, When the clouds have rifted and the shades have flown; Sorrow will be turned to joy, heartaches gone forever; No more night, only light, when we see His face.
In this life, Christians live by faith, believing that God exists and rewards those who seek Him. We also live daily in the anticipation that today could be the day we die and go to be with Jesus, or the day He returns as He has promised. Christ will say: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”8 What a day that will be!
Prayer. Lord Jesus, we are amazed that because of your own saving work for us, you make us pleasing to you and make your face shine on us. Because you so graciously smile on us, help us to treat people better today. Help us show them your love with acts of mercy and tell them your good news. Help us be joy-bringers to others, not joy-suckers who add to their burdens. Help us reflect you to others. We pray in your name. Amen.
To be continued.
Notes (various translations used): 1 Psalm 23:1. 2 2 Peter 2:13; Rev 21:1-4. 3 Jer 31:3; Deut 33:27. 4 Eph 5:1,2; Rom 5:10. 5 Heb 2:10-14. 6 Luke 6:27-38. 7 Acts 20:35b. 8 Matt 25:23.