The Lord Bless You and Keep You!

In March 2020, the world was just beginning to fight an invisible killer – the COVID-19 virus! Cases were rising exponentially. There was limited knowledge of the new COVID virus. Even the medical professions were struggling to understand how transmittable the virus was and what drugs could be used to minimise its effects. Countries around the world began instituting restrictions to limit the spread of the virus and to protect their healthcare systems from being overrun.

With the world in a disruptive state, that we had not seen since the 1918-1920 Spanish flu pandemic, Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe wrote a song called, The Blessing, with the Elevation Church’s worship leader, Chris Brown, and Elevation’s lead pastor, Steven Furtick.  It was performed for the first time at the Elevation Church’s Ballantyne campus in North Carolina on 1 March 2020. It all began when Steven Furtick hummed a scripture from Numbers 6:24-26. [1]

The song was an instant success and has been produced by various artists and in different languages around the world. I would highly recommend that you listen to the song on YouTube in the link above! The song is based upon a scripture in Numbers 6:24-26, which is a Priestly Blessing. (NOTE: You can skip the ads in 5 seconds and just listen to the song on YouTube).

The benediction in Numbers 6:24-26 is a generational blessing God gave to Moses through Aaron, the first High Priest of the Israelites and his brother, in which the Hebrews ask for God’s divine favour. The strength and assurance of God’s promises is beautifully conveyed in this scripture:

“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.”

Let’s unpack what Numbers 6:24-26 means for those of us who call Jesus, our Lord and Saviour:

This was originally meant for a blessing from God to His own chosen people, the Israelites. It was not intended for the unbelievers, although certainly God wants all people to become believers and be included in the joy that it brings. Today, this is meant for His Church and all people, who believe in Jesus.

“The Lord bless you” – God is so good and He provides all that we need. These include spiritual blessings such as eternal life, joy, peace, forgiveness, but also blessings like meaningful work, loving friends and family, a home, etc. Even in the midst of adversities, He promises to give us strength to endure, which is a blessing from God.

and keep you” – we are guarded and protected every day by God’s omnipotent power.

“The Lord make his face shine on you” – God loves us unconditionally, and His beauty should be reflected through us. He’s not an angry God. He loves us and created us in His image!

and be gracious to you” – God’s grace is His unmerited favour towards us, even though we are undeserving. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our salvation and forgiveness.

“The Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace” – the blessing concludes with the climax that we can and should know God’s peace forever, irregardless of our circumstances or situations that we may find ourselves. We can completely trust in God and His faithfulness through belief in the saving work of His Son, Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit working within each of us as believers.

This is a scripture that I have memorised and sometimes use as closing words when I’m praying for others. It is God’s promises, spoken in His words, for His people! Honestly, it encourages me every day to hear these words, and I hope it does the same for you.

May the Lord bless you and keep you!

[1] The Blessing by Elevation Worship (featuring Kari Jobe) – Songfacts. (2021). Retrieved 30 July 2021, from https://www.songfacts.com/facts/elevation-worship/the-blessing

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