God's Favour | Eva Isaac Joe | Tamil Christian Message

"Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, 'Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, "Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: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 upon you,And give you peace."'So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I
shall bless them."

According to Jewish writings, this benediction was quoted daily in the temple as well as in the synagogues. The words of this blessing, given through the mediator Moses, become even richer when we consider them in relationship to our new mediator and leader like Moses, that being Jesus Christ. In the light of the new covenant, which is a better covenant with better promises (Hebrews 8:6) we, as Christians, have much to rejoice about!

The Lord's Blessing
"The Lord bless you..." (Numbers 6:24a). The blessings of God, spiritual and physical, ought never to be taken for granted. This benediction recognizes the source of all good things as being God (cf. James 1:17). No doubt the people under Moses' leadership thought of the blessings God had promised them if they would continue to obey Him faithfully. He had promised that "if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments..." that "... all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you." (Deuteronomy 28:1,2). Then the blessings are described. They would be blessed in city and country; in their offspring and the offspring of their flocks and crops and in protection from their enemies. The Lord would make them "abound in prosperity" (Deuteronomy 28:3-14).

Jesus' blessings for us today emphasize the spiritual rather than the physical. While He gives certain assurances in the physical realm, His sacrifice on the cross had to do with restoring us to spiritual life and giving us spiritual bread and water so we need never hunger or thirst again (John 6:27-35). Jesus makes a point that the world often overlooks. He could have made it His business to provide physical blessings the way Moses had (vs 31, 32) but Jesus was providing something better. This is because those who emphasize their physical needs and desires over their spiritual needs will only grow hungry again and ultimately perish whether they have something to eat or not. But those who partake of the bread of life will live forever.

The Lord's Keeping
"...and keep you." (Numbers 6:24b). The idea of "keep you" is divine protection. In Moses' time, this would refer to protection from hostile invasions and drought and things chiefly of a physical nature. However, again the emphasis shifts in the New Testament and deals more with spiritual protection. One good example of this is the figure of speech that Jesus uses to describe His relationship with His disciples. He is the "Good Shepherd" and we are His sheep. He knows His own, and His own know Him. He lays down His life for his sheep so that they may be protected from the robber or the wolf. His sheep hear His voice and follow Him, and as long as they do, He keeps them safe promising them eternal life (John 10:1-16; 27,28).

The Lord's Shining Face
"The Lord make His face shine upon you..." (Numbers 6:25a). The Lord's face is depicted a shining in several places in the Bible. It shines with a tremendous radiant glory, instilling awe in His creatures. We recall how even Moses' face once shined after communicating with the Lord.

We also recall how Jesus was transfigured in the New Testament. Peter, James and John were awe-struck when the beheld the Lord. The Bible says, "And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light." (Matthew 17:2). Paul, in encouraging faithful living on the part of Christians and a warning against being lulled back into the world, later wrote "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Ephesians 5:14).

The Lord's Graciousness
"...And be gracious to you;" (Numbers 6:25b).
Certainly God favored the faithful of Moses' era with mercy and blessings. Our God is a God happy to give good things to His children. The nation of Israel never did better than during those times when it was loyal to God. Neither will our own nation, and the same thing applies to individuals.

The supreme example of God's graciousness is not found in the sun or rain or crops or physical prosperity. We thank God for these things; but as wonderful as they are they pale when compared to the favor God bestows upon us through His Son Jesus. It is this inner wealth that is most important; the blessings of spirit which God abundantly gives. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
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