Today’s Bible reading* includes a Blessing prayed over God’s people. For many of us who have been around church for very long, we may be familiar with this Blessing.
In The Blessing, Moses gives Aaron and his sons the content of what to pray over the people of God. This is a prayer prayed by the priests over all of the people, not just those who have taken the special Nazarite Vow, whom God has talked about in Numbers 6:1-21.
Rather than asking for material or financial blessings on His people, The Blessing asks for God to give His people far more than that: God Himself! The prayer includes requests for God to bless and protect them. The prayer includes requests for God to look with favor over His people, to be gracious to them, and to give them His peace.
I remember when our son went off to Abilene Christian University, he learned the same version of The Blessing that I remember hearing and singing as the benediction every Sunday Morning in my home church. I hadn’t thought about the song in a very long time. But as soon as I heard the students begin singing it, I instantly joined in just as if I hadn’t missed a week of singing since I learned it about forty-five years ago.
The Blessing is simple and consists of just three verses, Numbers 6:24-26. If you don’t already know The Blessing, take a few minutes to listen to it, and I promise you’ll know these three Bible verses by the end of the song. You’ll find that music is a great tool to help you to memorize Scripture!
Below is the video of over five hundred ACU students and alumni singing it in a special message of hope released last Spring when we were all affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. If you’re reading this devotional via email, you may need to click this link, since the video probably isn’t embedded in the email version.
Recently, worship leaders Kari Jobe and her husband Cody Carnes updated and expanded The Blessing for a new generation. Their version of The Blessing is below. If you’re reading this devotional via email, you may need to click this link, since the video probably isn’t embedded in the email version.
Either of the versions I linked to are tremendous blessings for God’s people and I encourage you to listen to both versions and simply worship, receiving God’s Blessing as if it’s being sung over you specifically.
Don’t become sidetracked and limit your prayer requests to asking God for stuff. There’s nothing wrong with asking God for stuff, so long as you ask with the right motives, and if/when you receive it, you hold it in open hands, ready to release it and pass along all of God’s blessings to others. (James 4:3)
Ask God to give Himself to you. And know that He will give you far more abundantly of Himself than you can ask or even think! (Ephesians 3:20)
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV)
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: