The Lord’s Benediction
(Exodus 23:18; 34:25)
(Leviticus 5:14-19; 6:1-7; 7:1-10, 37-38; 22:17-30; 24:1-9)
(Numbers 6:22-27; 28:9-15)
(Deuteronomy 17:1; 21:1-9)
High Priest Aaron
Forgive me for lecturing the looking-glass a bit today. The Scripture readings pierced my heart, as the Lord spoke to my spirit with conviction.
Our Bible passages for today included one of the most quoted priestly prayers in all of the Word of God. First, however, a few pointed practical matters are addressed.
Lose the Leftovers
Moses outlined several specific sacrifices of the Old Covenant. These included the guilt offering for sin, the Sabbath offering, the monthly offerings and more.
Imagine the Israelites bringing unblemished sacrificial lambs and other offerings each week on the Sabbath and each month, in addition to the special high sacrifices. What commitment this would have required.
What makes an offering acceptable to the Lord?
The Scriptures clearly show God’s standards for sacrificial offerings. No defects or diseases, no discolorations or disabilities. Only perfect and intact animals could be presented to the Lord on the people’s behalf.
These Mosaic instructions give me pause to ponder. What sorts of sacrifices do I offer to the Lord? Do I present myself wholly to God, giving Him the best that I have? Do I offer Him the best of my gifts, or try to toss Him a few extra scraps when I have a surplus? Am I willing to make Him top priority in my schedule, or do I simply try to squeeze God in when I can?
God deserves all I have. Will I offer Him anything less?
The Priestly Blessing
Today’s Bible reading closes with the high priestly prayer of Aaron, which is still uttered frequently as a congregational benediction in many churches. This passage merits memorization, as it if an excellent Scriptural model for any believer who wishes to pray for another:
“The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you.
The Lord turn His face toward you
And give you peace.”
If you grew up in the church, you may recall this Scripture in the King James Version. I can still hear it echoed, as if I were sitting in the well-oiled pew, with the Sunday morning sun peeking through the familiar stained glass windows.
“The Lord bless thee and keep thee.
The Lord make His face shine upon thee
And be gracious unto thee.
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee
And give thee peace.”
Will you pray with me?
Lord, how we crave Your blessing
Upon our lives.
Reveal Your great love
To us today.
Remind us of any areas
In which we have tried
To offer You
Less than the best that we have.
All we have
Comes from You.
May we give You
the first and the best,
for only You are worthy.