And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27
Speaking a blessing over the people of God is so important that God Himself provided direction as to how it is to be properly done. While the blessing was to be administered by Aaron, God spoke to Moses. Why didn’t God speak directly to Aaron? After all, the priestly ministry was to cover the people for atonement. The fact is, Moses had a much more intimate relationship with God as compared to his brother Aaron. Our ministry title matters less than our integrity before God.
Here is what God says about Moses in Numbers 12:8 and Exodus 33:11 — I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?” In this verse God is rebuking Aaron and Miriam for speaking against Moses, by challenging his authority as a leader. So Aaron finds himself on the wrong side of the argument in the presence of God who is a righteous judge. In Exodus 33:11 the word says this, So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. May we have greater intimacy with God, so that He can trust us with His word because of our integrity and consistency.
The LORD bless you and keep you is the beginning of the spoken blessing. To be blessed of the LORD and kept by Him, is the will of God concerning His people. That is why He was so specific in saying “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:“ The LORD bless you and keep you — in addition to the specificity, it is also clear that the blessing is generational, because the instruction is for Aaron and his sons.
The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; — the glory of God shining upon you is a blessing in and of itself, but He is also gracious unto you and me. This part of the blessing let’s us know that God has always been gracious, even under the law. He told Aaron exactly what to say, as He sought to reveal His gracious nature to a stiff necked people, which was necessary to keep them in the way of the LORD. Hear the word of God in Exodus 32:9 — And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! They were a people who needed grace to cover their sins in a way that a priest could never do. After all, Aaron took gold from the people and made a golden calf in the wilderness, so he too needed grace. LORD we thank you for being gracious unto us.
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. For the LORD to lift up His countenance upon you, requires Him to look in your direction and cause his glory to light your path. In doing so, He will also bless you with peace. The peace of God surpasses all understanding, and is able to keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
“So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” Our God puts His name upon us so that the world knows that we are His children. It is evidence of His presence in our lives as stated by Moses in Exodus 33:15-16; Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” Because He is with us God has promised to bless us just as He said “and I will bless them“ — receive the blessing today.