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. Numbers 6:24-26
On Sunday mornings, if you’re in church, you may hear this blessing right before you leave. If you’re waiting impatiently, wanting to get on with your life, then you may not give this the importance that it deserves.
It’s just that thing that the pastor says before we go, right? WRONG. So what is the big deal? This blessing from the Old Testament was given to Aaron, so the Blessing is called The Aaronic Blessing. Let me expand the scripture and change the translation. The above is just three verses in the New International Version so it sounds like what you hear in church. Below is from The Message by Eugene Peterson and I’ve started the verses at verse 22:
22-23 God spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons, This is how you are to bless the People of Israel. Say to them,
24 God bless you and keep you,
25 God smile on you and gift you,
26 God look you full in the face and make you prosper.
27 In so doing, they will place my name on the People of Israel—
I will confirm it by blessing them.”
So this blessing is not just coming from your pastor, it’s coming from God!! God told Aaron to bless the people of Israel and to bless them with God’s name. If you put Aaronic Blessing in a search engine on the internet you’ll find so many teachings and studies just on these six verses.
When the pastor says this blessing in our church, I bow my head and thank the Lord for His Blessing and I accept it. It seems like such a small thing at the end of the service, but it has big meaning in our lives.