The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
– Numbers 6:24-26 NASB
The words of this passage may sound familiar. A minister often recites them when he is dismissing a congregation. Maybe the words will seem even more familiar if I give them to you from the King James Version:
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee,
and give thee peace.
– Numbers 6:24-26 KJV
Who is “the Lord” in these verses? For us who live in the wake of the New Testament, it is clearly and without a doubt Jesus of Nazareth, descendant of King David, raised from the dead on the third day after being crucified, and ascended to heaven in eternal glory.
How is it that His face can shine upon us? According to the prophets we have been reading the last few days, He is the One Malachi said would rise as “the sun of righteousness,” who was called by David “my light and my salvation,” and who was addressed as “a light in darkness” by Micah. Through the apostle John, we know that Jesus called Himself the “Light” that came “into the world.” And here again is one of Isaiah’s prophecies:
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
– Isaiah 60:1-3 NASB
This light is for those of us who believe in Him, who live for Him, who arrange our thoughts and behavior in hope of His approval. Yet the world around us is in deep darkness because they do not believe in Him and do not look to Him in this way. What will we do – will we trust the light or trust the darkness?
If we want His face to shine on us, let us give Him things to beam about.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, bless us and keep us today. Make Your face shine on us and be gracious to us today. Lift up Your countenance on us and give us peace today…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.