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The Lord bless you…  –  Numbers 6:24

Words of promised favor,

spoken by God’s high priest,

to God’s people.

In the devotional, Faith’s Check Book,

C.H. Spurgeon wrote:

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“What a joy to abide under the divine blessing!

This puts a gracious flavor into all things.

If we are blessed,

Then all our possessions and enjoyments are blessed;

Yes, our losses and crosses,

and even our disappointments are blessed.

God’s blessing is deep, emphatic,

effectual (successful in producing a desired result or intent).

A man’s blessing may begin and end in words,

but the blessing of the Lord

makes rich and sanctifies.”

Plodding through some of the Old Testament books

seems a chore—dull, tedious labor—

hardly fitting for an hour of pleasure reading before bed.

In the book of Numbers we find recorded for us

significant events in the lives of

Moses, Aaron, Balaam, Joshua, Caleb,

and others of the Hebrew nation.

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(For those who have read the Psalms more than

other Old Testament books,

we may recognize the names of two famous kings—

famous to those living in ancient times:

Sihon, king of the Amorites,

and Og, king of Bashan—

sung in verses of thanksgiving in Psalm 136.

Just in case you’ve ever wondered,

Who are these guys?…

We first meet the pair of royals in the book of Numbers.)

Also in Numbers there are lists,

and more lists…

monotonous and tiresome lists…

of census reports,

ceremonial dedications,

ministerial duties,

cleansing rituals,

rules, guidelines, instructions, offerings,

armed conflicts,

property boundaries…

 But that’s not all.

Woven into the record are the Israelites’ complaints,

their arguments,

harlotry, idolatry, divisions,

seditions, and traitorous deceptions,

and the continual failures of God’s people

to believe His Words,

spoken directly to their leader

specifically for them and their descendants.

antique-185371_640Even still in this book we read of

Moses’ anger,

a donkey’s rebuke

and the earth-splitting trial by fire.

It’s heavy reading—

an account revealing man’s tenacious sinful leanings

and God’s displeasure with our persistent unbelief.

Is it any wonder why I am refreshed in reading brief passages

of encouragement in the book,

interspersed throughout the narrative…

 Come with us, and we will treat you well;

For the Lord has promised good things to Israel…

And it shall be, if you go with us—indeed it shall be—

that whatever good the Lord will do to us,

the same we will do to you. 

–  Number 10:29-32

And the Lord said to Moses,

Has the Lord’s arm been shortened?

Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not. 

–  Numbers 11:23 & 29

But Joshua… and Caleb… spoke to all the congregation

of the children of Israel, saying,

The land we passed through to spy out is

an exceedingly good land.

If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us

into this land and give it to us,

a land which flows with milk and honey.

Only do not rebel against the Lord,

nor fear the people of the land…

the Lord is with us.

Do not fear them. 

–  Numbers 14: 6-9, 18-25

Then came the daughters of Zelophehad…

And they stood before Moses, before Eleazar the priest,

and before the leaders and all the congregation…

saying, Our father died in the wilderness…

and he had no sons.

Why should the name of our father be removed

from among his family because he had no son?

Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.

So Moses brought their case before the Lord.

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

The daughters of Zelophehad speak what is right;

You shall surely give them a possession of inheritance…

And cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them… 

–   Numbers 27:1-11

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. 

–  Numbers 6:24-26

cloud-143152_640With the strain of my own inadequacies,

and those of saints before me,

weighing heavily,

these passages remind me

of God’s unfailing goodness to His own.

Interesting how recorded history from centuries past

very much mimics human life today…

There are blessings,

There are burdens,

But with the Lord

There is always hope.

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