Spend some time reading this blessing slowly. Read it out loud. Stop on each key word and ask yourself, “How is this aspect of God true or not true in my life right now?”
Bless — to bless is the Hebrew word barak which means to bow before someone; to be for someone and not against. Do I feel like God is for me today?
Keep — God is your guardian. He is the watcher and keeper of your life and your soul. Have you trusted yourself to God’s protection, or are you trying to defend yourself?
His face — Here is the key to the gospel, the good news, of the entire Bible. God is facing you. In the Old Testament the image of facing someone was an image of showing that person that you loved them and were interested in their well-being and in having a relationship with that person. Think about our human relationships. When you are fighting with your spouse, friend, child, or parent, the natural tendency is to turn away from them. When we are in good relationship we turn toward them, open our arms to them, and draw them into a loving embrace. God is facing you. His arms are wide open. Your salvation is at hand in the strong, protective, loving arms of your Heavenly Father. Are His arms around you today?
Gracious — of course the concept of grace follows quickly on the tail of the image of God’s loving embrace. That is because it is only on account of His graciousness that we can receive that embrace. An embrace from a mutual friend is wonderful, but the authentic embrace of forgiveness in the arms of someone whom we have truly offended is infinitely more meaningful. When God embraces us it is not because we deserve it, but because He has extended forgiveness to us, has cleansed us from sin, and is willing to restore our broken relationship. Are you receiving God’s grace in your life today, or are you allowing shame to stiff arm God?
Peace — This is the final piece of the equation. When the strong arms of the father graciously embrace you, the result is peace. In that strong embrace nothing can harm you. You are not in conflict with God, you are not struggling with yourself, and you are safe from your enemies. This is peace, this is the Kingdom of God. Are you experiencing this peace today?
One more thought from this blessing. Many scholars see the Trinity present in this blessing. The Father is the strong protector. The Son is the means of Grace through which we have access to the embrace. The Spirit is the Spirit of peace through whom we experience the loving embrace and the daily walking in the Kingdom of God.
Now try saying this blessing to another person…and really meaning it. How does it change your outlook on that person?
May this meditation encourage your soul today.