The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of August 17
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
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.
So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.’” (Numbers 6:22-27)
This ancient Hebrew blessing was uttered daily over the Jewish people by the priest just after he completed the sacrifice at the temple, and even today, many synagogues and Christian denominations end their worship services with this benediction.
The fact that the words “the Lord” are repeated three times emphasizes that the blessing comes not from the priest, rabbi or minister but from God Himself. When God gave His instructions to Moses, He specified that the blessing of the people would be done in His name, declaring, “Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”
This is important. So often we forget that God, while omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, is also personally invested in each one of us. He is intimately tuned to every one of his children. He knows every one of our concerns and needs, even before we express them to Him, and He personally turns His face toward each one of us to shine down His love and grace.
During these August days, as our children, grandchildren and loved ones move into dorms and return to schools both in person and remotely, we ask that God bless them and keep each one of them safe in the shelter of His protection. These are tumultuous times, to be sure. As the pandemic continues to unfold, we may not be able to control much about our current circumstances. But we can rest in the assurance that God is the Provider of peace, even amid uncertainty.
Gracious God, I am grateful that You are not only God, but my God. Thank You for watching over me and my loved ones. In the light of Your loving gaze, I find peace. Amen.