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The Lord Bless You and Keep You [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
November 19, 2020 5:00 am

The Lord Bless You and Keep You [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

Who you are is defined by the fact that in Jesus Christ, you've been blessed with every spiritual blessing. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear today's message in a series titled The Power of Blessing as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.

As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at pastoralan.org. That's pastoralan.org or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But right now, let's get started with today's teaching in the series Praying with Power.

Here is Alan Wright. You ready for some good news? According to God, your life and your identity is defined by God's blessing to you, which means that your life is not defined by how much of a blessing you are to God. It means your life is not defined by any other mark of your merit, but your life, who you are, is defined by the fact that in Jesus Christ you've been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Numbers chapter 6, we come to the most famous blessing that is recorded in Scripture. It is the one that I, along with many pastors all over the world, will be speaking again today as I lift up my hands and pronounce a blessing that we call a benediction, which is just the Latin word for blessing. And so this benediction, this blessing, has come to be known as the priestly blessing or it's sometimes known as the Aaronic based on the word Aaron because it was spoken to give to Aaron and the priests. And these familiar words we're going to take a deep look at today in Numbers chapter 6 verse 22.

Number 6 verse 22. The Lord spoke to Moses saying speak to Aaron and his sons saying thus you shall bless the people of Israel you shall say to them the Lord bless you and keep you the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace so shall they put my name upon the people of Israel and I will bless them. In 1996, I had a wonderful privilege to spend a month in Israel and I remember many different moments of that very special month. But one moment that really touched me, I'll never forget, was when our Jewish rabbi guide was pointing out to us the direction of a very important archaeological site that is translated to be the shoulder of the Hinnom, an area by the old St. Andrew's church. And it was a site that in 1979 some archaeologists came upon that there were some burial plots there that were in these caves that were kind of built out of some natural caverns in the hillside and they came upon this burial site.

In 1979 to 1980 they did the dig and they found all kinds of interesting artifacts there. But the most interesting thing that they found were a couple of tiny little silver scrolls that would have been the kind that a Jewish girl would have worn like a pendant around her neck. And these little tiny silver scrolls were very old.

The carbon dating on them showed them to be about 600 years before Christ. So they're very ancient and they spent three years, the researchers did, three years unfurling the little scrolls so as to not to cause them to disintegrate. And when they finally were able to have them open they realized that the writing on it was indeed Hebrew. And our little Jewish rabbi guide, his own voice began to break as he was telling us this story because he said that it was a professor of his under whom he had studied for several years that was called in to be one to help translate this little fragment of a little silver scroll. What were these words that we had found 600 BC? And his teacher said that when he read them he just began to weep because he said these are the words that I speak over my own daughter every week. And the little scrolls said the Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face shine upon you and give you peace. It was fascinating because a lot of scholars had always said well probably the first books of the Bible weren't written until much later, maybe the second century BC, third or fourth century BC. And this became really the oldest piece of evidence outside the Bible itself of just how early these words had been written. And I say these words each and every week not just because they are so ancient, although there's something timeless about them, not just because the priests were told that they are to speak these over the people, but because in this blessing, this priestly blessing, the blessing that was given to Aaron and the priest to speak over the people, that in it is something so wonderful and so rich about who God is and about the nature of our gospel. And so I want today to just think together about this magnificent little blessing, how laden it is with God's own nature.

And I do so pointing us in the direction of something that's absolutely stunning that is said at verse 27, so shall they put my name on the people of Israel and I will bless them. That the expectancy therefore is that who you are as God's own beloved is defined somehow by this blessing and that God says not by magic but by the power and efficacy of his word that as we speak these words God says I will bless them. And so rich and timeless and beautiful and ancient words that are worth taking a deeper look into.

The poetry and structure of this is the first thing to observe which is fascinating. There are three lines to this blessing that is really in the a poetic structure. You'll notice that each of these three lines has the Lord mentioned in each of those. So there's three mentions of the Lord in these three sentences. So three sentences, the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. That's the second sentence and the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

That's the third sentence. Three sentences, three mentions and the repetition of the name the Lord. Now whenever in Hebrew in your Old Testament whenever you see something that is repeated you can pause there and know that this is a Hebrew literary device that is to bring the point of emphasis and superlative. So the way that the Hebrew language will speak of something that is the utmost they'll just use repetition.

So years ago I heard R.C. Sproul describing one that kind of a funny instance of this in the Old Testament but this lets you know how it is that the language works. There's one place in the Old Testament where they're describing a pit that's an especially deep pit but instead of saying it was the deepest pit or the biggest pit it just called it a pit pit. It just sounds almost funny to us but that's the way the Hebrew language works.

So if something is a pit it's a pit but if it's a big really deep you know pit it's a pit pit. So you'll see repetition of words like that but sometimes in a few instances not often because this would mean this is the the utter superlative of something that the the highest way you could describe something is to repeat it three times. Thus when Isaiah gets a revelation of God in in the heavens and he realizes that there is a refrain that is going on in the heavens saying holy holy holy is the Lord Almighty that this is just saying that this is he is holy beyond words he is holy he is the holy of holies he is holy est there is and so this is what repetition means. Now interestingly the Hebrew grammar does not at all require that the name of the Lord be repeated three times in this blessing. It would make perfect sense to be able to say the Lord bless you and keep you make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you and lift up his count and something it would be just fine to do that grammatically doesn't you don't need to repeat the name of the Lord here but very clearly the name of the Lord repeated three times the Lord the Lord the Lord. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series.

That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Before God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful he blessed them. Before God called Abraham to father a nation he blessed him. Before God released his son into ministry he blessed him.

Why? Because blessing is God's secret strategy to empower you to be all he made you to be. When others affirm you most of the time it's because you've proven your worth maybe you did well on a test accomplished a goal or proved yourself competent. Such affirmation is nice but it's not the way of God. God's strategy is to declare your worth before you have done anything to prove it. In the kingdom of God blessing is the fuel for your productivity not the reward for it. Maybe you need your heart to be healed from old wounds caused by others withholding their blessing or maybe you're ready to shatter that invisible ceiling that keeps you from soaring. Either way pastor Alan writes the power of blessing will change your life. Change how you interact with others as you discover the ancient skill of the Hebrew patriarchs as they bless their children. Learn how to tune your heart to accept blessing and reject curse.

Most of all drink in the unquenchable blessing of God in Jesus Christ. Get motivated God's way with Alan Wright's seven message CD album The Power of Blessing. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today we'll send you pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries.

Call us at 877-544-4860. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. The heart of everything good about your life and everything that we're speaking is all centered in the Lord Most High. The Lord, the Lord, the Lord. Now what else is interesting about the structure of this blessing is that there are 15 words in it. You remember in Hebrew they don't have a lot of words in Hebrew. It's not one of those languages that has lots and lots of words.

They don't have any words. And every word is freighted and words are attached to all kinds of different significances. And if you look at the structure of this what you see is the first line has three words in Hebrew, the second line has five, and the third line has seven words. So it begins with three and it ends with seven. So there you start again with that symbol of three, the sense of repetition, which of course when we think of three what we recognize is the triune nature of God, right? And the number seven, these numbers are so, you cannot overemphasize how significant these numbers are in Hebrew.

This is not by accident or coincidence. This is, as God set it forth, that the last line is seven, like the number of completion or perfection. There's seven days in a week, right? So in Hebrew you see the number seven.

Think of a week and the week is done, seven days, right? And so it grows, this blessing, it grows from three to seven. And if you take the threefold repetition of the Lord out it leaves you with 12 words that are other than the name of the Lord. This blessing is 12 words and 12 is the number of the tribes of Israel.

It is a picture of the people of God. The structure of this is just beautiful and rich. And as one commentator says, as the lines of the blessing lengthen, their content becomes richer, producing a crescendo that culminates in the word peace. So that this blessing just grows and grows until the announcement comes, peace, shalom, well-being, all is ordered, shalom.

And so it is that you have a beautiful poetic structure that in itself is laden with symbolism and beauty and majesty. The second thing before kind of digging into the actual words of the blessing is to notice that this is to be spoken by the priest. Now, we won't take much time this morning to talk about the priesthood, but there are three kinds of priesthoods that are mentioned in the Old Testament, pagan priesthoods, those things that have no association with God and his kingdom, and then the Levitical priesthood, which is to refer to the tribe of Levi. And if you're going to be a priest in Israel, you had to be from that tribe.

And not only from that tribe, but from the family of Aaron, who was Moses' brother. So being a priest in Israel meant you came from a certain family. You were born into it, which holds rich symbolism for us who are Christians, for we're all a royal priesthood, all who are in Christ. How did we become that?

We were born into this family. So you're born into the family of God, and therefore you're a priest. The third kind of priesthood is the strange priesthood of Melchizedek, which we won't take time to talk about this morning. But the Levitical priesthood, these priests that came from the tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron, they also had a high priest, and that high priest would be the only person in Israel that on one day would be allowed to go behind the thick veil in the temple, or the tabernacle, and there would be able to minister on behalf of the people. And what a priest essentially is and does is a representative of God and a representative of the people. So in one man, both God, his presence, and the people, their presence, are represented in the priest. And when the priest would go in to do his ministry, that high priest would wear a garment that on the front had 12 stones, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. So literally the priest would carry the people on his breast into the presence of God.

This is the nature of what a priest is. Now this is absolutely a beautiful image to understand what has happened for each and every one of us in Christ, is that because of the sacrifice of Christ, who was the great high priest who one time figuratively, spiritually, went into the Holy of Holies and represented all of us, carrying us literally upon himself, and became the sin offering on our behalf, and therefore ministered on our behalf in this one man, humanity was represented and divinity was represented. And what happened is so extraordinary that we have become co-heirs with Christ, and we are declared in the New Testament to be a royal priesthood also.

So no longer is there any mediator except for Jesus Christ that was ever needed between God and humanity. It means therefore that you have direct access to God. So the priests were the ones who were speaking this blessing.

In other words, beloved, here's what I want you to see. If blessing the people was a function of the ancient priesthood of Israel, how much more so is blessing authorized to and a function of the whole body of Christ at all times and all places? Now let's look at the blessing itself, the repetition of the name of the Lord. When you see in your Bible all capital letters, the Lord, what that means is that this is the name that was the covenantal name of God given when Moses asked who was sending him. It means Yahweh. Now these four Hebrew letters that make up this name, Yahweh, are considered by the Hebrew people to be too holy to ever speak, so they never speak this name. Sometimes it will be rendered Jehovah, but this name was given by God upon Moses's request. And it was a startling thing for God to give his name because in the ancient world especially, the idea was if you knew somebody's name that it gave you a whole new level of intimate connection with them even to the extent that it gives you some sense of, I don't know if this is the right way to say it, but power over them.

Let me see if I can explain this in some ways that maybe we would understand. When you know somebody's name, doesn't it change everything about the relationship? As soon as you know somebody's name, things begin to change. It's one of the reasons we're so frustrated when we can't remember somebody's name because if you can't call out their name, you're embarrassed especially if you're supposed to have known their name, but you also feel like that something in our connection is broken if we can't talk to each other name to name.

But let me go a little further with this. Let's say you're on the phone and somebody calls and they are being anonymous and they're saying something bad on the other end of the phone. You know what you want to say?

Who is this? Have you ever been, not that I would have ever done this, but you ever been on a phone call interacting maybe with somebody, you're trying to get something done, some business, something going on or somebody at the company, then you've got the wrong bill or then they're not doing like you want, and at some point you would say, can you tell me your name? I don't really want to give you their whole name because when you say, you give me your name, what are you saying? I'm going to report this to somebody. Once I know your name, then everything changes.

But let me put it to the positive. If somebody were to call you up with fantastic news, you've won a million dollars, wouldn't you want to say, can you tell me your million dollars? Wouldn't you want to say, who is this? So on the day that Moses was being called by God to go and become the agent of deliverance of the people of God out of their slavery, Moses says, who shall I tell them sent me? What's your name? Who is this? And God, like he had never done before, said, okay, if you need a name, I'll tell you, my name is I am.

Alan Wright. What revelation at that moment? It's today's teaching. The Lord bless you and keep you in the series, The Power of Blessing. And we invite you to stay with us. Alan is back here in just a moment with additional insight on today's teaching for your life and today's final word. Pastor Alan Wright's power of blessing will change your life. When you make a gift this month, we'll send you the power of blessing as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. And when you give, you'll not only be nourishing your own soul, but you'll help broadcast the good news to someone else. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. So Alan, in today's teaching, and we've built up to this part where the Lord reveals saying I am, and how profound is this? Well, it's so profound. And what we're going to be learning, Daniel, about this, what we call the high priestly blessing. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord be kind and gracious to you. That in pronouncing this, the Lord says you'll put my name on my people.

This is something that is remarkable. God set it up so that His people would regularly receive a spoken blessing over their life. And in some way, when we receive that blessing, we're receiving His name.

And we're going to see some of that mystery unfolding tomorrow as we continue this. But it's a marvelous thing to just regularly in your life have someone who is speaking the blessing of God over your life. Is there a right way and wrong way to even receive a blessing like that? You know what's so interesting in our church, I always end every service by saying the Lord bless you and keep the Lord be kind. And I just encourage people, this is the time to keep your eyes open, keep your heart open.

Sometimes even tell people, just symbolically, you might want to take your hands, just lift them like you're getting ready to receive a package or some gift that's being given into your hands. In other words, I'm receiving a blessing. Whatever you do, don't reject it. Don't run from it.

Don't think, oh, it's got to be for somebody else. But instead, drink it in, take it in deeply. It's the blessing of God. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-26 11:57:35 / 2024-01-26 12:06:17 / 9

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