"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace" (Numbers 6:24-26)
These were the words God instructed the priests of Israel to say when they blessed the children of Israel. The surrounding chapters of this chapter of the book of Numbers are filled with commands that God expected His people to follow. However, while keeping God’s laws are very important, following God is not just about keeping commandments. Following God also involves be recipients of His blessings. By blessing the people with the above words, God said, “"So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them” (Numbers 6:27).
As one who preaches to God’s people, I know I often instruct my brethren in God’s laws and challenge their commitment to Christ. I want them to grow and mature as followers of Christ. This is necessary. Preachers are to convince, rebuke and exhort (2 Timothy 4:2). Part of exhorting is to bless and encourage my brethren in Christ. It is a challenge to live the Christian life and sometimes Christians need to be reminded that God is eager to bless them!
As Christians, sometimes we focus too much on each other’s shortcomings and weaknesses. Instead of encouraging each other we discourage each other. Instead of blessing each other, we curse each other (James 3:10). It is interesting that the apostle Paul could strongly rebuke a church like the church at Corinth which struggled with many sins and still called on God to bless them. Remember that your brethren in Christ are a blessing and put God’s name on them to bless them.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14).