Today starts a new series on DOTB which will be published daily. It’s devotional material based on the scriptures laid out in the 2016 Common Revised Lectionary; the most used lectionary available. When the weeks of the lectionary is not able to provide verses for the whole 7 days, we will select appropriately matching verses for the day. We hope you can follow us daily in the readings and reflections. The reading reflections will be done by various people throughout the year.
6:22 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
6:23 Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them,
6:24 The LORD bless you and keep you;
6:25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
6:26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
6:27 So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
I believe this passage speaks towards many things but one main thing that comes to mind is the idea of repentance and God’s loving forgiveness towards us. As we begin the new year it is important that we press on towards growing deeper in our love for God and recognizing that despite our weak moments, God’s love for us shines greater still. Israel was a nation that failed many times in disobeying God. However, His love for them was never swayed by their actions and when they chose to turn and obey Him, He blessed them in ways that they could have never imagined. They not only experience blessings but they saw just how much His Glory and love was put on display.
The same goes for us, as Christians we experience moments when we fall and even backslide in our walk with Him. However, when we choose to obey Him, not only are our lives filled with His goodness and peace, but we begin to experience just how loving He is and that should create in us a humble heart that seeks to follow after Him and plant in us a deeper love for Him.
God blesses the Israelites but not with material assets but his name and all that comes along with being God’s people. From Abraham to the current timing of this passage God had promised to bless His people. It is in the heart of the Father to bless his children. Though we have done nothing to deserve such blessings, God has chosen to enter into covenant with all people through His son, Jesus Christ. As adopted sons and daughter of the Lord God also wants to bestow his grace and peace upon all who call upon his name.
However, I am reminded of a parallel passage in Leviticus which is a start reminder that such a privileged position as God’s people also comes responsibility to obey His commands.
I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.
14“ ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you. (Leviticus 26:12-17)
Many would suggest that the plight of Israel over the centuries is evidence of God keeping His word spoken to Israel. But like any parent, God takes no pleasure in disciplining His children. He is much more pleased by getting to reward His children. May we be the type of children that God can point to say “My name is upon them!”