“The Aaronic Blessing or Benediction” – ‘Num. 6:22-27′
We have looked at two ‘Principles for Prayer’ in this book of wandering; 1 – God desires to dwell in the midst of His people; 2 – God dwells only among a sanctified, holy people. Now we come to the first recorded prayer in the book of Numbers; and what a prayer it is. I know we have touched on it before, but you can never say too much about this prayer or the ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ The LORD, YeHoVaH says, in Num. 6:23, “In this way you shall bless the children of Israel…” The Hebrew word for bless is (barak) and it is a primary root that means to bless God as an act of adoration, (to exalt, to worship, to praise) or to bless man as a benefit. It is derived from the Hebrew word (berek) for knee or to bow.
To bless God as an act of worship; you mean, we can actually bless God, “YES!” Read the Psalms, we are to do it as a form of adoration. “Blessed art Thou O LORD our God;” “Bless the LORD Oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” Oh, what a privilege we as Christians have in that area. When was the last time you took the time to just ‘Bless the LORD?’ That’s heretical you say, No, it’s Biblical! A privilege vastly neglected. However, the word (barak) also means to bless man as a benefit, to endue with power for success, prosperity or longevity. Isn’t that what Christ did in Luke 24:50-52, “And He led them out as far as to Bethany; and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” The attitude of our Lord here characterizes His relationship to His people in the Church Age. It is an attitude of fullness of grace; an ascended Lord is blessing a believing people with spiritual blessings, right now.
Where else do we see this in Scripture? Noah, blessed his children in Gen. 9:26 when they got off the Ark. Eliezer, blessed God for leading him to Rebekah in Gen. 24:27. Laban, blessed Rebekah as she left for her new life in Gen. 24:60. Isaac, blessed Jacob in Gen. 27:27. Jacob, blessed Pharaoh and his children in Gen. 47:7. The angel blessed Jacob in Gen. 31. Melchizedek blessed Abram of the Most High God and he blessed The Most High God in Gen. 14:88 ff. However, it was God who first started to bless and give a blessing. Let me remind you of a rule of Hermeneutics or interpreting Scripture, it’s called, “The Law/Rule of First Mention.” You could refer to it as, “The Science of Etymology” if you don’t like, “The Rule of First Mention.” Anyway, “The first mention of a Bible truth usually summarizes any further development of that same truth or principle.” (Dr. A.T. Pierson). So, lets look at our first mention of the word (barak) and it was by God in Gen. 1:22, “And God blessed (barak) them saying, be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters and the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.” Gen. 1:28, “And God blessed (barak) them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” Gen. 9:1, “And God blessed (barak) Noah and his sons, and said, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth;” that is the bottom line in asking a blessing upon physical, living creatures; mankind in general. “Be Fruitful and Multiply!” Which means, to endue with power for success, prosperity, longevity and fruitfulness. “The Prayer of Blessing!” Do we do this, my friend? Do we invoke blessings upon our families, our churches, our friends, our nation, the Jewish people? Are we multiplying and filling the earth? If every person in this world went to Jacksonville Florida, all 7 billion of us, we could all stand there on 2.5 square feet at one time, all of us! Are our people and families blessed by our partaking of this principle of prayer? Or are we guilty of, (LISTEN) “The Principle Of Lost Privilege!” Like the generation that is about to, in the desert, in the book of Numbers in the next 40 years because 10 people didn’t believe God! Let’s take a look at this, “Prayer Of Blessing,” this “Prayer In The Desert,” and learn the “Principle of Lost Privilege,” and hopefully claim it again for our people, our families, our churches and the Jewish nation of Israel. Let me say this before I begin, I believe this is probably the most powerful and yet the most neglected portion of Scripture in the Older Testament, second only to Matthew 6:9-13 in the Newer Testament. Now, praying Scripture back to God is a very powerful principle but when you do it you must do it prayerfully. There are books on this principle, you may want to study up on it before getting your oar wet.
Before we go into this, “Prayer of Blessing” let me set the stage; The instructions are from the LORD, YeHoVaH, the Self-Existent One, He That Is Who He Is, therefore, The Eternal I Am! That is Who is instructing Moses, to instruct Aaron to bless the children of Israel. “On this wise, – In this way, – Like this, – you shall bless (barak) the children of Israel…” God is giving specific instructions here, just like He did for building the Tabernacle; or obeying the the law, or offering sacrifices. He wants this done in a very particular way. “The LORD bless thee (barak) ” to endue with power, for success, prosperity and longevity; to multiply and to be fruitful. In I Chron. 23:13 it says that Aaron and his sons were separated, or sanctified by God, to sanctify the holy things, to burn incense (a picture of prayer), to minister unto the LORD, and to bless in the LORD’s name. Listen, we are sanctified by God in I Cor. 1:30 also, to sanctify holy things, to worship, to pray, to practice ordinances, preach, etc. To burn incense – Pray (Rev. 5:8; 8:3) To minister to the Lord, Acts 13:2; And to bless in God’s name. How did Paul close his epistles? “The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen” II Tim. 4:22. How did he begin them? “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” II Tim. 1:2. etc. Check out a few more. “The LORD bless (barak) thee and keep (samar – keep, watch, guard) thee.”
Who? Num. 6:23, “The children of Israel,” the Jewish people, God’s chosen people. Do you know what the word Israel means? Way back in Gen. 32:28 we have the first mention of this word in Scripture, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Jacob is wrestling with ‘The Angel of The LORD’ and Jacob says he won’t let the Angel go unless He blesses him. Gen. 32:24 says, “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” Israel means, ‘He who strives with God’ or ‘God strives or God rules.’ Are you striving with God? Have you ever wrestled with an angel all night in prayer or with God? “Thou hast power with God and with man and hast prevailed!” He struggled and wrestled and strove with God all night for a blessing. Question? How desperate are you? He was persistent, he was desperate, he was scared, he was alone, he was on his face; God hears and answers that kind of prayer and he blesses it! Num. 6:23 says, “In This Way You Shall Bless The Children Of Israel…” On this wise; In this manner; After this example; You shall bless God’s chosen, covenant people! But who is really blessing? Who is causing the multiplication? Who produces the fruitfulness? Aaron, Roger, You? No, v.27 says, God will bless them; Though pronounced by the lips of man, it derived its virtue from God Himself, “I will bless them.” But mankind must first pray and invoke the blessing. “Man invokes, God provokes!”
I tried to do it every morning and evening as a pastor, it was called the ‘Invocation’ in the bulletin, the prayer of, excuse me, (Blessing). But we are afraid of this privilege, why? Because it’s to liturgical, it’s to religious, to (R.C.). So, we lose the privilege, and our families and people lose the blessing and God loses the glory. Just remember it is God who actually does the blessing not man he is just an instrument for God and there are basically three divisions in this blessing which we need to look at but it will have to wait for another time. So, until then, we will see you, “…Between The Lines…”
“The Aaronic Blessing” – Num. 6:22-27 (Part #1) – 5/7/13