God of Blessings
(Heartbeat of God, p. 232)
“The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
“Blessings” is my word for this year. Everywhere I look, I see God’s blessings in my life and in the lives of others. We have a God of blessings! How can we not praise Him all day long for His goodness to us!? He is so ready to bless us that even when we are distracted from Him, He is still showering us with good things. God instructed Moses to proclaim today’s verses out loud over Israel. Why? “So, they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them” (Numbers 6:27). When the Israelites first entered the wilderness, they were just a very diverse group of former slaves. Some of them believed strongly in God. Some were believers in name only. Still others, slaves for generations in Egyptian households, had come to believe in Egypt’s many gods and had no idea who God was. It was this odd mixture of Hebrew people that God had chosen to be His people. Day by day, miracle by miracle, He began to put his mark—His Name—on them so that He could bless them, not only then, but far into the future. (Think Chris Baxter's post yesterday!) God has put his mark on us as well. “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession....” God’s most significant blessing for us is eternal life.
We all tend to pray for temporary blessings. Yes, God does answer our prayers for earthly things, but if we only count these as blessings, we are missing out on the ones that truly matter. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing all of us to reevaluate our lives. Suddenly things that had been so important a few weeks ago have given way to what really matters. This is the perfect time to start counting our blessings—all of our blessings.
One of my favorite sayings is, “Blessings are found on the other side of obedience.” This was true for the Israelites. When they obeyed God, He blessed them. When they disobeyed, they missed out on the blessing. The words, “...The Lord make His face shine on you...” had real significance to the Hebrew people and it should for us, too. God’s face toward them indicated God’s approval. But God is holy. He cannot look at sin and we are sinners. In the Old Testament, God would have to turn away from sin. The thought that God had His back toward them distressed the Hebrew believers. Three times in the Psalms, David begged God, “Do not hide your face from me!” But because Jesus took all our sins—past, present and future—with him to the cross, God looks at us and sees Jesus, so His face is always toward us. When God’s face is toward us, He is “gracious to us” and gives us “peace.”
Grace and peace are two more of God’s eternal blessings, along with forgiveness, mercy, redemption, healing, restoration, His Holy Spirit and His love through Jesus Christ. Sisters, today, join me as we lift our hands in praise of our God and His incredible blessings!
For further reading: Psalm 103:1-5; Ephesians 1:3-8, 13-14; Psalm 27:9, 69:17, 143:7
God, You are the God of Blessings! No matter how imperfect I am or how often I mess up, You shower me with blessings. How can I begin to absorb this level of love? All I can do is praise You continually from my spirit day and night! In the morning when I wake up and realize that You have given me a new day to live, I praise You! I dedicate the day and myself to You and ask that You align me with Your purposes, so that I can honor You with my life and be used by You to bring your blessings to others. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.