Intercedes

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].’ – Numbers 6:24-26

Really and truly bless them bless them with blessings indeed; with all sorts of blessings temporal and spiritual; with solid and substantial ones; and such are blessed, and will remain so, their blessings are irrevocable and irreversible; and unless the Lord blesses, in vain do the priests bless, or any of his ministers pronounce a blessing; theirs lies in words and wishes, his in real facts; they can only pray and wish for the blessing, it is he only that can give it, and can ratify and confirm what they declare and pronounce, according to his revealed word. Some refer the relative “them” to the priests, as if the sense was, I will bless the priests that bless Israel, for God will bless them that bless his people; but Aben Ezra thinks it belongs both to Israel, and to the priests, that God would confirm and establish the blessing of the priests pronounced on Israel, and bless the priests also, who needed the divine blessing as well as the people, and being found in the way of their duty, might expect it: the Targum of Jonathan is,”I will bless them in my Word;”his essential Word, Christ, in whom his chosen ones are blessed with all spiritual blessings, and who is the promised seed, in whom all nations of the earth shall be blessed. – Gill’s Exposition

The idea of “keep you” is divine protection. One good example of this is the figure of speech that Jesus uses to describe His relationship with His disciples. He is the “Good Shepherd” and we are His sheep. He knows His own, and His own know Him. He lays down His life for his sheep so that they may be protected from the robber or the wolf. His sheep hear His voice and follow Him, and as long as they do, He keeps them safe promising them eternal life.

God the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf and makes intercession for us. What is more in line with the will of God than our opening text?  What more could we ask for than to be blessed and protected by the LORD?  How great a thing to have His face shine upon us and have Him lift his countenance upon us?  Where else will we find a peace that passes all understanding if it is not given to us by the Lord?

For Jews, this blessing and the ones giving the blessing were bridges back to the covenants God made to His people. For Christians, God blessed His people through one mediator, Jesus Christ. He was the presence of God who gave His followers God’s power. In this sense, the blessing became a prophecy God fulfilled. Christ was this one blessing; His life (grace) is our blessing.

Reflect on your blessings. How many are spiritual? How many reveal the face of God to you?

intercedes

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