“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.”
God Blesses His People
A father sat on the edge of his young daughter’s bed. She had been a terror that day—fighting with her sister, talking back to her mother, scribbling on the walls, and refusing to finish her green beans. She had not done anything to earn or deserve any love from anyone that day. Yet, her father still sat near her, smiled at her, and had a full heart of love for her. As she fell asleep, her father leaned over and spoke the blessing recorded in our Bible reading today. Her father was comforted knowing that as much as he loved his daughter, God loved her even more.
The words of this blessing have been spoken to God’s people for over 3,500 years, even though we all act like terrors before God. When we sin, when we go our way instead of God’s way, we are not deserving of a blessing like this. We deserve punishment, not love. But instead of turning his face away from us, God chose to turn his face away from his Son, Jesus, as he hung on the cross. Jesus took our place. He died as our substitute paying the penalty for our sins.
Because of what Jesus did, God now makes his face shine on us. Like we might break out a big, broad smile when we see someone we love, God smiles on us. Instead of turning away from us, God graciously turns to look right at us. His face shines with love and recognition. He knows each of us individually. And to each one of us, he gives the greatest blessing he can give to any sinner; he gives peace.
God gives the peace of knowing that no matter what is going on in our lives, whether we are going through good times or bad times, our relationship is right with God. God gives the peace of knowing that our many sins are forgiven in Jesus.
Dear God, thank you for smiling on me and blessing me, even though I don’t deserve it. Amen.