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The Lord Bless You and Keep You [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
February 22, 2021 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 Rinaldo 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.

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 Aaron and the priests. And these familiar words, we're going to take a deep look at today in Numbers chapter 6 verse 22. Numbers 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 B.C.? 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 scroll 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 B.C., third or fourth century B.C. 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 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, 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 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 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 utter superlative of something, the big pit pit. The utter superlative of something, the highest way you could describe something, is to repeat it three times. Thus, when Isaiah gets a revelation of God 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. 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 countenance.

It would be just fine to do that grammatically. 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. Wouldn't it be nice to set your mind on God's blessing instead of the curses of the world? This month's special offer from Alan Wright Ministries will help. Coinciding with the release of Pastor Alan's new book, The Power to Bless, we have created a flip style devotional for your desk or kitchen counter. The beautiful spiral bound devotional offers 28 days of inspiration utilizing some of the most moving excerpts from the new book. Use it day by day for four weeks so you'll keep the promises and assurance of God's blessing right in front of you. As Paul wrote to the Philippians, whatever is true, noble, right, and pure, think on these things. So make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today, and we'll send you the inspirational flip style devotional as our thank you for your partnership.

Each spiral bound devotional comes with a convenient easel style stand so you can keep the day's inspiration in front of you and fill your heart with God's blessing. 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.

Now we are in our final days of offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860 or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. 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 over emphasize 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 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, they're the same kind of 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 in 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?

Right? 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, you know, a 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 gonna, yeah, I'm gonna report this to somebody. You know, like 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, 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.

Allen Wright. What revelation at that moment? It's today's teaching. The Lord bless you and keep you in the series, The Power of Blessed. And we invite you to stay with us. Allen is back here in just a moment with additional insight on today's teaching for your life and today's final word. Wouldn't it be nice to set your mind on God's blessing instead of the curses of the world? This month's special offer from Allen Wright Ministries will help. Coinciding with the release of Pastor Alan's new book, The Power to Bless, we have created a flip style devotional for your desk or kitchen counter. The beautiful spiral bound devotional offers 28 days of inspiration utilizing some of the most moving excerpts from the new book. Use it day by day for four weeks so you'll keep the promises and assurance of God's blessing right in front of you.

As Paul wrote to the Philippians, whatever is true, noble, right, and pure, think on these things. So make your gift to Allen Wright Ministries today and we'll send you the inspirational flip style devotional as our thank you for your partnership. Each spiral bound devotional comes with a convenient easel style stand so you can keep the day's inspiration in front of you and fill your heart with God's blessing. The gospel is shared when you give to Allen Wright Ministries. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Allen Wright Ministries.

Now we are in our final days of offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860 or come to our website pastorallen.org. Back now with Pastor Alan and The Power of Blessing is what you're listening to in our series. The Power to Bless is Pastor Alan's latest book, How to Speak Life and Empower the People You Love, and this book is now out available everywhere.

Good books are sold and you can get it in several formats, e-reader on your tablet, audiobook, or just the good old-fashioned way of a hardback as I'm holding in my hands right now. Pastor Alan, our teaching today, The Lord Bless You and Keep You, as we place the bookmark here, what's our parting good news thought? When God has the priest to say the Lord bless you and keep you and the Lord make his face to shine upon you. This is a picture of favor that when you walk into a room and you see someone's face you can learn almost everything from just the expression. If someone doesn't even pick up their face to look at you it communicates right now I don't view you as important enough to even stop me from what I'm doing currently. If someone were to frown upon you or their face were to look down upon you it would communicate that I'm disappointed in you. But if someone lifts up his or her face and smiles it says you're accepted, you're loved, and you have found favor in my presence. So to say the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you, beloved, it is to say that you understand and understand and come into this kind of knowledge of God that you understand in Jesus Christ that really his face is shining upon you. And you can come into his presence unafraid you can come into his presence full of joy because you have a father who's delighted to be with you. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-22 15:53:44 / 2023-12-22 16:02:42 / 9

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