24‘Yahweh bless thee and keep thee; 25‘Yahweh cause His face to shine upon thee, and favour thee; 26‘Yahweh lift up His countenance upon thee, and appoint for thee — peace. 27‘And they have put My name upon the sons of Israel, and I — I do bless them.’” Numbers 6:22-27 Young’s Literal
As sons and daughters of the grafted-in Israel, what a blessing to be received from Yahweh! This is a personal blessing, not one geared for a larger group, but one directed personally at you reading this today. Yahweh states His name three times in this blessing, and He directs the blessing at you by referencing “you” six times (which is the number of a man).
- He blesses us. We all want to be blessed in many ways whether it be financially, with good health, with healthy relationships, with joy, and with a right relationship with our Father, but sometimes when He does bless us, we squander our blessings and can actually lose them so…
- He keep us. This blessing is for us not only to be blessed, but that we would be kept in that blessing by obeying Yahweh’s commands and not treating the blessing as no value and losing it because of our lack of responsibility.
- His face upon us. This is as if God is smiling when He looks upon us. This causes joy in both our lives because we know that He is looking favorably upon us, but it is also for the others around us who see this joy flowing from our lives.
- His favor upon us. Because of Yah’s face being upon us, this causes others to look favorably upon us as well and often causes them to show us grace and favor.
- His countenance upon us. When Yahweh is pleased with us, it’s as if His being and His joy is turned towards us. The literal Hebrew word is “face” which can also mean acceptance of, making a glad face towards us.
- He grants us peace. We all want peace which comes as a result of our obedience and a right relationship with Yahweh. When He is pleased and does the previous, then we will receive His peace.
- He puts His name upon us. Yahweh says that He has called a people by His name and if we walk in His ways and become set apart by Him and for Him, that His name is upon us. This is a blessing for Israel and all who are grafted into Israel. We become His children and obtain His great name.
Are we just blessed then because God loves us and feels like blessing us due to His goodness? I seem to hear this quite a bit, but is it really true? Does God just randomly decide to bless some people this day, and then others the next, and still others the next day? Does He have a plan when He pours down some blessings? Does He just bless us because we ask for blessings? I hear this as well.
“then, whatever we ask for, we receive from him; because we are obeying his commands and doing the things that please him.” 1 John 3:22
When we read these blessing verses at the end of Numbers, we fail to realize these verses came at the end of a Nazarite vow. The vow was a specific vow that a man or a woman could choose to take. They would take this vow to consecrate themselves to Yahweh by refraining from some certain things and making their lives more intentional to follow Him to get closer to Him. I believe there is significance to this vow as it precedes this blessing at the end of the chapter. It would seem a bit contingent if we read the entire chapter in its context.
“2 Here is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God, we also do what he commands. 3 For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome, 4 because everything which has God as its Father overcomes the world. And this is what victoriously overcomes the world: our trust.” 1 John 5:2-4
We see that over and over in Scripture that Yah chooses to bless those who are in obedience to His commands. It’s like a reward for us that choose to try to follow His ways (even though we totally can’t get it right all the time, we are at least trying). He promises blessings to those who obey and curses to those who disobey. It’s kind of like when we choose to disobey, the door is opened for Satan to come in and cause problems in our lives, which removes blessings from our lives.
We see that in Deuteronomy after Yahweh has given Israel His commands and asked them if they would choose to follow the commands or choose to disobey, they agreed to follow, but Yahweh told them that if they broke their vows to Him, that curses would come upon them. But, He promised blessings to those who obeyed.
“19 “I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, 20 loving Adonai your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him — for that is the purpose of your life! On this depends the length of time you will live in the land Adonai swore he would give to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.”” Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (Complete Jewish Translation)
“My son, keep my words, store up my commands with you. 2 Obey my commands, and live; guard my teaching like the pupil of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 7:1-3
“If you won’t listen, if you won’t pay attention to honoring my name,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot, “then I will send the curse on you; I will turn your blessings into curses. Yes, I will curse them, because you pay no attention.” Malachi 2:2
“2 Also, he is the kapparah for our sins — and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world. 3 The way we can be sure we know him is if we are obeying his commands. 4 Anyone who says, “I know him,” but isn’t obeying his commands is a liar — the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:2-4
“The dragon was infuriated over the woman and went off to fight the rest of her children, those who obey God’s commands and bear witness to Yeshua.” Revelation 12:17
It would seem clear then that Yahweh does pour out blessings on His children, but it isn’t a random thing, but rather a reward for those who diligently seek Him and choose to follow His ways. And, He promises curses for those who are not trying to follow His ways.
How are you doing today understanding Yahweh’s laws and attempting to follow them? It’s a question that I am now contemplating much every day.