The 6th chapter of Numbers ends with a beautiful Aaronic Blessing pronounced on Israel by the priest. Although God retained the privilege of immediately blessing the Israelites when and where he deemed wise, he chooses to bless them immediately, through priestly hands.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:
The Lord bless you, and keep you [protect you, sustain you, and guard you];
The Lord make His face shine upon you [with favor],
And be gracious to you [surrounding you with lovingkindness];
The Lord lift up His countenance (face) upon you [with divine approval],
And give you peace [a tranquil heart and life].’
So Aaron and his sons shall put My name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
Numbers 6:22-27 (AMP)
That this blessing immediately follows the law concerning the Nazirite has always been a puzzle to scholars. What is clear, though, is that while the laws of the Nazirite are speaking to but a few, the Aaronic Blessing is upon Israel, collectively.
This blessing was pronounced each day immediately following the morning sacrificial offering. This blessing is a very early Hebrew poem. One of the primary duties of the priests was to bless Israel; yet this blessing lets all involved, the people and the priests, know that the priests are but conduits from the divine; they have no power to bless or curse. They can but speak and remind the people of what God promises and God does.
Every place in our Bibles that this Benediction says Lord or Adonai the original Hebrew says Yehoveh. Yehoveh blesses you; Yehoveh shines His face upon you, Yehoveh gives you Shalom.
Blessing in our language and Christianity is a very broad and inclusive term, but that’s only because of our ignorance. Biblically speaking blessing is VERY specific in its meaning: blessing is God bestowing upon His people the things He counts as necessary and useful for us. And when we look through Scripture we find that blessing consisted of good health, land, safety, sufficient food, and children.
The word blessing is a verb. It involves action. God FEELING kindly toward us isn’t blessing us. We certainly WANT Him to have favor towards us, but that is NOT what blessing means. In the same way, love is also a verb. Love may be the most misunderstood and misappropriated word in the entire Bible. For in the Hebrew, love was not an emotion, it was an action.
It’s only in the Western Church of gentiles that love has become a romantic, warm, internal mushy feeling. Certainly, love has an emotional component; but just as James tells us that faith without action is no faith at all, so is a love that has no tangible action not love at all.
Would you want God to FEEL all fuzzy and warm for you, but not GIVE to you, tangibly, what you need?
Well, we’re all in luck: for the act of blessing IS the law of giving.
And what is it that He gives us?
It says here in the Aaronic Blessing that He blesses us with (meaning He actively gives to us) protection, grace, and peace. In the Hebrew, it is protection, grace and shalom.
Shalom does not mean only peace; it means well being in every sense. It means that God is near to you, it means His salvation has been made available to you; and it means His sufficiency for you to material things and a lack of war.
I love this blessing. It sums up God’s intention, attitude, and character. But take note this blessing is specifically aimed at Israel. This blessing is not for the whole world. It is only for those that make up the set-apart group that He calls “My People” and those joined to Israel. That has never changed.
Instead of joining Israel using pledges and oaths and circumcision, one now joins Israel using faith in Yeshua HaMashiach. And that is the provision, since about 30 A.D., if a man wants to partake in God’s active blessing.