Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Priestly Blessing– Numbers 6:22-26

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

 The Priestly Blessing– Numbers 6:22-26 Submitted by Kay Crumley


The Bible is filled with prayers. I will be presenting some of those in the next few devotionals to investigate ways to pray. I have heard people pray scripture as a way to worship God and honor His Word. That is one way to keep His Word in our heart and be assured we are aligning our prayer life with His will. 


Today we will study Aaron’s Prayer in Numbers chapter 6. The opening 21 verses are dedicated to the instructions for one wishing to take a special vow as a Nazarite. What is a Nazarite? Samuel and Samson were the Nazarites we often remember. Both were lifelong Nazarites but most only commit to that lifestyle for a limited time. Samuel was dedicated before birth by his mother, Hannah. He was consistent in his commitment while Samson was not.   


The Nazarite vow is taken by a person who voluntarily commits themselves completely to God. The Hebrew word Nazir means to be separated or consecrated. In Chapter 6 there are five features to this commitment; 1. It is voluntary, 2. Can be taken by man or woman, 3. It is for a specific time frame, 4.  Has specific requirements or restrictions, and 5. A sacrifice if offered at its conclusion. I will not go deeper into the specifics of the vow but as verse one states, “The Lord said to Moses”, so be aware these were specifically given by God for those who desired to fully dedicate themselves to Him.   


Not all the nation of Israel would choose this dedication, only a few and for a set time period. Chapter 5 gave instruction to the people of how to behave during their journey to the promised land. It addresses the regulations for life and worship. It was to remind them that as long as they lived according to God’s law and were obedient to Him they would prosper. It makes sense that there is general instruction about how to live, followed by specific guidance for those who wanted to uniquely dedicate themselves, and ending with a general blessing for the entire nation. 


He ended the Chapter with our focus verses for today. 

Numbers 6:22-26  

The LORD said to Moses, 

“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. 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 turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’ 

So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” 


Aaron and his son, from the Levite tribe, served as priests to the Israelites. God spoke to Moses but Aaron was the messenger who delivered spoke those words to the people. God gave the specifics of His blessings to His people. 


The Lord bless you and keep you (protect you, sustain you, and guard you) - Using the Amplified version we find more specifics of what is meant by bless and keep. This is blessing them with His Holy protection from harm.   

Make His face shine upon you - God is blessing them with His favor. The face of a proud parent who sees the child maturing into the character of God will look on that child with a glowing face.   

Be gracious to you – Grace, being surrounded by lovingkindnessThat undeserved favor by which He provides salvation through His Son. 

The Lord turn His face toward you – Showing His divine approval toward us. 

Give you peace – The peace of God is having a tranquil heart and lifeThat doesn’t mean freedom from difficulties but the assurance of His protection, His favor, His lovingkindness, and His approval on us.  


These are the blessings we all desire. In the Old Testament, God chose the Israelite nation to be His people. We can have those blessings by joining His family by adoption when we accept the gift of salvation available by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. These blessings are ours as His children. God chooses to bless His children because of His love for usAs we grow in love for Him we also choose to dedicate our lives to living for Him and serving as His ambassadors to further His Kingdom. While we don’t take the Nazarite vow, we are instructed in 1 Peter 1:15 but, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct. 



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