June 3, 2021
Numbers 6:22-27 (NIV) & Psalm 20 (NIV)
Laity, Burks UMC
Scenic South District
Numbers 6:22-27 (NIV)
22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
24 “’The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.’”
27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Psalm 20 (NIV)
1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” I often feel God’s benevolence and pleasure just revisiting these words from Numbers. I have sung them; I have prayed them; I have offered them up to others.
Sharing these and other words like them with others is important. These passages can help believers remember our gracious and generous Lord. And they can encourage non-believers to know that God wishes to bless them as well. But I also need to remember to say them often to myself.
“… and give you peace.” Most of us are very eager to bestow this blessing on others. But some of us seem wired with internal conflict that makes our own inner peace a challenge. Psalm 20 then becomes, for me, a helpful focal point. I am reminded that over and over the psalmist wishes the Lord to intervene when I am in distress, which is hopeful and uplifting. I am reminded that although some put their trust in chariots or horses (or social media or mood-altering substances or other things of this world), I am at my best when I trust in the Lord.
Both of these passages are uplifting messages about the presence of the Lord and our desire for His active participation on our lives. May we accept His blessings. May we feel the brightness of God’s face upon us and actually feel His peace flow through us.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your words of encouragement. Please continue to strengthen us as we attempt to do your work and your will. Amen.