This morning I read afresh the words God gave to Aaron to bless the people in Numbers 6:22-27.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
I’ve studied and written so much about God’s keeping presence (Coming soon! You’ll be hearing so much more about this!) and I’m so comforted and connected again to Jesus when I think of all He does to keep us, cover us with grace, give us His presence, and provide peace to our souls.
I imagine Aaron speaking this blessing over me and my family, and it’s just so moving to imagine it. (Read it aloud over yourself, and think about the words falling on you like rain.)
I love how this blessing comes at the beginning of trouble; the Israelites were about to begin all those years of wandering in the desert. Perhaps God was training the people how to think about Him during trouble. I think about how to shape my thoughts in the midst of trouble or my own wilderness experiences or wandering:
I remember that God blesses and keeps me.
His grace and favor rest upon me.
I experience His presence and His peace at all times.
No matter what desert I’m in.
Later, all the way in the New Testament book of John, we read Jesus’ words that resonate with Aaron’s blessing. Jesus says, “Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I think about how Jesus demonstrates to His followers how not to feel alone (the Father is with you!) and that we will have peace no matter what trouble comes. We can take heart! We can rest in God’s presence and peace, just like Aaron prayed for the Israelites.