My favorite part of the worship service is the benediction. It’s the opposite of a coach’s halftime speech where (s)he gets the team jacked up, geeked up and amped up to continue the quest for victory. The benediction is God’s agent (Pastor) granting me God’s blessing, His serenity, His graciousness. I walk out breathing more clearly and cleanly. I remember when Gramma did spring house cleaning. The benediction is a weekly soul cleansing. No human hands involved; just the perfect, spotless touch of God’s word covering me.
I wanted to learn more about my favorite benediction verses (NKJV) Numbers 6:24-26.
David Guzik’s commentary taught me the following.
This benediction is also called the Aaronic blessing.
a. The Lord bless you: God loves to bless His people, and He loves to have leaders long that the people be blessed
i. God’s blessing has always in mind our greatest and highest good; we often expect God’s blessing in our life to mean a world of comfort and ease – but that certainly isn’t for our greatest and highest good. God knows how you need to be blessed, even if you don’t!
b. And keep you: Some are kept by their own sin and desire, some are kept by idolatry and greed, others are kept by their own bitterness and anger. But to be kept by the Lord insures life, peace, and success.
c. The Lord make His face to shine upon you: To have the glorious, happy face of God shining upon man is the greatest gift one could have. To know that as God looks upon you, He is well pleased – not because of who you are, or what you have done, but because you are in Jesus Christ – there is no greater source of peace and power in life.
d. And be gracious to you: The idea is of God showing tender mercy and care for His people.
e. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you: The priest prays God would look upon His people; when God blesses, keeps, shines, and is gracious towards His people, any look He casts towards His people is filled with nothing but blessing. His loving attention is on the believer!
f. And give you peace: The Hebrew word is shalom, which is more than the cessation of hostility – it is God’s word for wholeness and goodness and total satisfaction in life. This is the abundant life Jesus promised! (John 10:10)
g. Three-fold repetition of Lord doesn’t prove the Trinity, but it certainly illustrates it.
God the Father blesses and keeps His children.
God the Son makes God’s face to shine on us and brings us grace.
God the Holy Spirit communicates God’s attention to us, and gives us peace.
Rest in peace Donald Wayne Meyer; the dash has now been completed.
December 16, 1944 – May 18, 2014
In His Grip,
Jeanie Meyer Shank