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An Inward Blessing

The Blessedness of Blessing  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Sometimes we adults feel like we always have to have to last word. We may think that the last word comes when we would put our young children to bed, but they would always seemingly get up or ask for something else.
There is a story that a young boy
I heard about a little boy that always had a hard time going to bed. In fact, he would always make up something that he needed when it came to bedtime. His dad was trying to teach him that when the prayers were done, the lights were turned off and sleep should happen, not anything else.
One night, the routine took place, the little boy said his prayers, the light was turned off, and the dad left the room. As soon as the dad sat down in front of the TV to enjoy his time, he heard the little boy, “dad, can I have a glass of water?” The dad said, “No son. You have had your water now go to sleep.” A few minutes later, the boy said, “dad, can I have a glass of water?” “No son, it is time to go sleep. Now be quiet.” A few minutes later, “dad, can I have a glass of water?” To which the dad replied, “no son. No be quiet or I am going to come in there and give you a spanking!” The dad smirked a little thinking he had won this battle, but sure enough he heard, “dad?” What son??? When you come to give me a spanking will you bring me a glass of water?”
Throughout scripture, we see that God provides for His people. Sometimes, we see in scripture that God provides for His people because they have asked for something in His name. Sometimes, we see in scripture, that God provides for His people even when they don’t ask.
One such place, is found in our scripture today. We have been studying this summer the Blessedness of Blessings, and looking at different times in the Bible where blessings occur.
Today’s scripture is a blessing that one that I am sure you have heard used as the last words of worship service. In fact, I have used it many times even in this church:

The Priestly Blessing

Numbers 6:22-2
Numbers 6:22–27 NIV84
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “ ‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Theologians call it the “Aaronic Blessing” because God tells Moses to give this instruction to Aaron and his sons.
It is an INWARD BLESSING.
Yet it is THE LORD who did the blessing not Aaron. THE LORD is mentioned in this passage 3 times. The blessing is directed to the whole people not just the individual. It consists of 3 parts:
Bless and Keep
Make Face Shine Upon you
Turn His face toward you
God Himself initiates this blessing. This shows us that God’s desire if for His people to be blessed. When was the last time you thanked God for blessing you? Each one of us was able to come to this place today because we were blessed enough to do so.
I believe that God’s name is synonymous with Blessing. It is His nature to bless His people.
This blessing does not invoke outer blessings of material goods, but rather, it invokes an inward blessing of receiving the Lord Himself!
This assures you and me that GOD is involved in our daily life, work and family!
Can you recognize that God is at work in your daily life?
The second phrase,
Numbers 6:25 NIV84
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
Numbers 6:
It is one thing for God to be involved in your daily activity, but here we have the assurance that God makes His face shine upon you!
Think with me more about this:
God is sovereign. God is Holy. His very nature is that He is so holy that we cannot approach him!
Exodus 3:5 NIV84
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
Exodus 3:6
Exodus 15:11 NIV84
“Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
Exodus
Leviticus 9:22 NIV84
Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.
Leviticus 9:23 NIV84
Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.
Leviticus
Leviticus 9:2
Yet in this blessing from Numbers, we learn that our Lord is allowing His face to shine upon each of us and His grace is bestowed to us!
I am reminded that even though our God is a Holy God, He still wants to pardon us from our sins! Our God is gracious to us!
Romans
Romans 5:8 NIV84
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 2:5 NIV84
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4–5 NIV84
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians
Have you thanked God today for His grace? You know we are so undeserving, yet God has chosen to make his face shine upon you and me and be gracious to us!
Have you thanked God today for His grace?
Lastly, we see in the beautiful blessing,
Numbers 6:26 NIV84
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’
Numbers 6:
I have read several books this summer but one of them is called Soul Caring by John Ortberg. He tells a story in this book from his mentor Dallas Willard who was a godly man that taught philosophy at a university in California. Willard tells of a story of a little boy whose mother tragically passed away. The young boy’s father also was dealing with the loss of his wife and having a hard time meeting the young boy’s needs. The little boy came to his dad’s room late one night in the dark asking his father if he could sleep with him. The worn out dad didn’t want to argue and told him to come on in. The little boy climbed into bed with his dad and said, “daddy I can’t see you but is your face towards me?” To which the father said, “yes son, it sure is.” The little boy said, “daddy if your face is towards me, I think I can sleep.”
You and I have the privilege to see right here in this passage that our Heavenly Father’s face is turned towards us and in doing so, He gives us peace.
The Hebrew word shaloam is more than the absence of war. It means well-being, health, prosperity and salvation. In short, it means the sum total of all God’s good gifts to His people.
No wonder so many churches use this a benediction to their worship services!
God reveals to use this blessing and reminds us of his power, grace, and deep care for each of us.
But I think there is more to the rich passage that is buried in the first section of the Old Testament.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that this blessing uses the Lord’s name three times.
I believe that this is a reference for us for the Trinity.
Numbers
Numbers 6:22–26 NIV84
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “ ‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’
The Lord God Bless you and keep you. You see, God, the Creator of all, including the creator of you and me has chosen us to be His people. He blesses as the maker of all things and the One and only True God! As our Heavenly Father, He desires to love us and give us a way to go.
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. I think this gives us an opportunity to see the humanity of our Lord: I think this is a reference to Jesus Christ, who was fully God yet became fully man in order that you and I might have reconciliation between a Holy God and a very sinful person. Graciousness comes when it is not deserved. It is never earned, but given as a free gift!
Acts 3:26 NIV84
When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
Acts
The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Not only have been given God the Father and God the Son in Jesus Christ, but we also see the gift of the One that is with us always: the Holy Spirit!
John 14:25-
John 14:25–27 NIV84
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV84
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13
At the end of this great blessing
Numbers 6:27 NIV84
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
God shares with Moses the He is going to bless the people.
A divine blessing goes along with divine institutions. God has so blessed our church.
Luke 10:5–6 NIV84
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
Luke 10:5–6 NIV84
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
Luke 10:5
Luke 10
For in every place where God records HIs name He will meet His people and bless them.
Are you realizing this blessing today?
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