The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale 2013), March 1
The Lord commands Moses to communicate a threefold blessing to His people:
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 6:24-25).
The blessing is directed to the entire congregation, rather than to any individual. It consists of three parts. The first phrase of each blessing announces God’s good intentions toward His people; the second clause declares the benefit each blessing.
“The LORD bless and keep you”—Bless (material wealth) and keep (protection from all that could oppose fullness of life). The Lord’s disposition toward His people is one of love, benevolence, and generosity. He is obligating Himself to the good welfare of His people.
“The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you”—Make His face to shine (indicative of pleasure) and be gracious (unmerited favor). The Lord’s temperament toward His people is one of joy and pleasure. Israel has God’s full and undivided attention. He moves toward them to show them unmerited favor.
“The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Lift up His countenance (an act of intimacy and affection) and give you peace. His love promises to overcome any hostility (cf. Lev. 26:40) His people may present to Him.
God’s name upon Israel was their honor, their comfort, their safety, their identity, and the assurance of God’s covenantal relationship with them. He is not ashamed to be called their God.
Who God is for Israel is who He is for His church. Benevolent. Protective. Intimate. Like Israel, the church is blessed by God and blessed for God.
Questions from today’s reading (Numbers 6:1-27; 10:1-36):
How do the regulations regarding the vow of a Nazirite create accountability for the one making the vow and for the community in which he lives out that vow?
What does God command that provides Moses with a way to communicate with the community?
What was the basis of Moses’ appeal to his father-in-law to remain with them instead of returning to his own land? What does this reveal about Moses?