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Blessed by God

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
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February 14, 2020 12:01 am

Blessed by God

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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February 14, 2020 12:01 am

What does it really mean to be blessed by God? Today, H.B. Charles Jr. unpacks the earliest benediction in Scripture to expound on the sufficiency of Christ to meet our every need.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind. How does God bless his people.Blessed is the community by blessing, the individual, and he blesses the individual back blessing the community.

These blessings are for us, but they are not about us. They are about the Lord throughout Scripture we find benedictions and doxologies. Blessings pronounced over the people in corporate phrases. One of the most familiar benedictions comes from the Old Testament book of Numbers begins the Lord bless you and keep you today on Renewing Your Mind.

Dr. HP Charles Junior shows us the immense theology we find in these blessings and presence. Welcome to this study of selected benedictions and doxologies in this particular session, we will study Numbers chapter 6 verses 22 through 27. The first benediction in the Scriptures and one of the great passages of the Bible I grew up in a church where the offering was received at the end of the service in the congregation walked around the offering plate in service was a little bit too long. Some people would be tempted to deposit their offering and keep on walking out the door and whoever was officiating. If they caught that would say in the mic during that offering.

Remember there's a blessing in the benediction that is a blessing in the benediction. That truth is just not the whole truth the whole truth is that the benediction itself is a blessing. Pastors have the wonderful privilege of sacred duty of prayerfully announcing the blessings of God on the people of God from the word of God as they scatter from the place of worship, over the years. My own pastoral practice is been to announce the blessings of God on the people of God from number six verses 24 through 26 the blessing of Aaron the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord, because his face to shine upon you and be gracious toward you. The Lord lift his countenance unto you and grant you his peace. This great benediction six in a strange place. The previous verses of this chapter. Record the regulations for the Nazirite's lived in special consecration for God, for specific and special. They were to have no wine. They were to not have their hair cut. They were not to touch anything they had in this special covenant relationship. The Nazirite's hat before God, but it is after those regulations that the blessing of God is commanded here not merely to these quote unquote super spiritual people, but to the people of Israel. It is a blessing to all of God's people at the end of Numbers chapter 6 is a blessing to the people of Israel, says verse number 23 and verse number 27 and get the languages singular in a real sense God blesses the community by blessing, the individual, and he blesses the individual by blessing the community. These blessings are for us, but they are not about us. They are about the Lord, whose name begins every line of the blessing the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you. The Lord lift his countenance unto you, this first benediction is God's announcement of blessings on Israel but throughout the centuries it has been used as a statement of blessing for both those of Israel and for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in real sense, this passage is the Old Testament counterpart to the grace recorded in second Corinthians chapter 13 verse 14 the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all this in the real sense is a succinct statement of blessing that in the real senses of the Lord's prayer of the Old Testament and it declares to us. The God is truly in the blessing business DL Moody wrote that this is a blessing that can go all over the world.

It gives and gives without ever becoming impoverished is the speech of God.

He wrote every letter should conclude with it every day should begin with and every night should be sanctified by it.

What is it mean here that God blesses his people. There are three lessons from this first benediction of Scripture that I would have you consider with me first. We learn here that every true blessing comes from the Lord. Every blessing comes from the Lord. A rich man was traveling with a bag of treasure. Somehow they found out and happened to join him along the way planning to rob them each night. They stopped the journey and would recline and in and for the evening and the thief prepared to rob the rich man of his treasure, but it was a will rise rich man he would allow the thief to wash up for the night. First, and while the thief was washing up for the night.

He would hide his bag of treasure underneath the pillow of the thief and thief would come out. He would go in and that they would look all over for the treasurer and couldn't find it in this happened night after night after night until he gave up and finally as they parted ways. The rich man told him the treasure was closer than you could ever think the real sense, this is a parable of the futility of our worldly pursuits. We look for treasure from the things of this world that can only be found in God. Jeremiah chapter 2 verses 12 and 13 decries two great evils. God's people have committed. They have turned from God the living fountain. Humans are themselves broken cisterns that cannot provide real water every true blessing comes from God. We see in the opening verses of this passage that God blesses according to his wheel and according to his word the Lord blesses, according to his will. Verse 22 and 23 says the Lord spoke to Moses, saying speak to Aaron and his son, saying, thus you shall bless the people of Israel.

You shall say to them, and then the benediction, Leviticus chapter 9 verse 22 says that Aaron lifted his hands toward people of God and blessed them. But here we see that he didn't do that spontaneously, the priests were commanded of God to bless the people of God, they did not bless God's people by their own script or by their own, edit, or by their own ad lib.

There was a divine formula by which they were to announce the blessings of God. Verses 22 and 23 then should be read as more than just the setting in which the blessing was commanded, is a statement about the authority of God.

God blesses according to his will. God is the source of all true blessings. In fact, he is the subject of all true blessings the Lord, the Lord, the Lord says verses 24 through 26. God doesn't play ball by our contractual binding on him, God is the ultimate unrestricted free agent. God is sovereign and he blesses only wills and asked. He wills. There is nothing we can do to manipulate the blessings of God. God blesses according to his will, and God blesses according to his word. This is also significant and there is an important turning point here God through Moses have been leading the children of Israel with signs and wonders. He brought them out of Egypt with the strong and mighty and outstretched hand.

He fed them with food from heaven every day, but as God would lead them into the promised land of Canaan.

The work of God among them was shift from the supernatural to the providential and in a real sense what you are going to begin to find as you work your way through the opening books of the Bible is in a real since the disappearance of God starts out with God showing up over and over again and then he shifts to establishing a relationship with his people upon which he speaks and they hear his word. So it is with this farce blessing.

This announcer blessing is not something they were to see they were to hear this blessing and trust that they were actually blessed the authority of God's word.

It is a warning to us. Don't miss God's work among us are being preoccupied with things that we can see God blesses according to his word. Someone is blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law does he meditate day and night, and as a result, he is like a tree planted by the streams of the water that brings forth his fruit in his season is leaf does not weather and everything he prospers. We are blessed. According to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 40 verse they just simply says it this way. The grass withers, the flowers fade with the word of our God stands forever. Every true blessing comes from the Lord. The second lesson here the blessing itself. Verses 24 to 26 is about the sufficiency of God, the Lord's blessings on all you need the Lord's blessings all you need.

Verses 24 through 26 records the blessing of Aaron, the benediction of Aaron itself. There are three lines to this blessing. Each line focuses on the Lord. There is his activity and then the result of his activity in each succeeding line is longer than the previous one.

It is the picture of the cascading blessings of God flowing down on his people are 50 words in this blessing in the Hebrew 12 if you exclude the name of God's subtle reference may be here to the 12 tribes of Israel. God's blessings are on his people in this exquisite poetry use to state this blessing declares emphatically that God is everything that we need the Lord Jesus Christ is everything we need. Consider the blessings line by line. The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord here provides for our needs two ways he blesses and he keeps blessings here no doubt would've been understood by Israel to refer to land and possessions and in all of those material types of things but the blessings of God transcend the material fact in first Chronicles chapter 4 verse 10 Jabez prays that God will bless him and enlarge his territory and then he quickly said, but let your hand be with me because the things of this world do not matter if you don't have God on your side. Jesus asked what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul.

We are not blessed by the material things we have. We are blessed by right relationship with God through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in him. Ephesians 1 verse three tells us that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus our kit use wisely comments the devil may curse us. But if the Lord has blessed us. What does it matter he's right. We are blessed and saved in safe and secure in God.

In fact, that is what the line here affirms the Lord that blesses is the Lord that keeps only God can sustain us.

He is able to keep us from anything and everything that would do us harm.

Member later in the book of numbers available higher. The mercenary profit a lump to curse the people of God but God keeps his people and every time Baylon tries to curse the people he ends up blessing the people of God, the Lord who blesses us is the Lord who will keep us here the psalmist in Psalm 121 verses five through eight declare the keeping power of God. He says the Lord is your keeper.

The Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil. He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and you're coming in from this time forth and forever more. The Lord blesses and keeps but then he says the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.

God is spirit, says John four verse 24. He doesn't have a face that we have. This is an anthropomorphism. This is a human terminology for divine reality so that our finite minds can understand the greatness of God.

It is a picture of the favor of God the face of God pictures the favor of God. Psalm 84 verse 11 says that the Lord is a son and a shield. He bestows favor and honor, and no good thing will he withhold from those who walk up rightly the Lord he says makes his face to shine upon us and what is that mean I think the declares it is when he is gracious toward us graces unmerited favor of God toward the undeserving. This is our reality without the rescuing grace of God we are dead in trespasses and sins says Ephesians chapter 2 verse one, then Ephesians 2 versus 45 says that God, being rich in mercy, according to his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved. The Lord will bless you and keep you Lord will make his face shine upon you and be gracious toward you, and then he declares the Lord, lift his countenance unto you and grant you his peace. The Lord lifting his countenance since him smiling on us in his divine favor and I think the result is expression of the activity. He lifts his countenance upon us, and in so doing, he gives us peace here David in Psalm four versus 6 to 8. There are many who say who will show us any good. Lift up the light of your face upon the soul Lord, you have put more joy in my heart than they have window grain and wine abound in MPC says, Psalm four verse eight I will both lie down and sleep for you alone.

The Lord calls me to dwell in safety, every blessing comes from the Lord, the Lord's blessings all you need. The third lesson is that you can trust the blessings of the Lord. Verses 22 and 23 are divine initiation verses 24 through 26 are divine. Benediction verse 27 is divine ratification. God plans the blessing God pronounces the blessing and then God promises to fulfill the blessing. The text says in verse number 27 soul shell. They put my name upon the people of Israel and I will bless them. Those God ratifies his word for his people. He said I put my name upon them. Course in Scripture.

One's name is more than the means of identification was name represents is nature's character is authority one's name represents the person himself.

This is why Exodus 20 verse seven warns that you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for God will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

God takes his name seriously, but he gives his name to his people as strength and refuge and protection and blessing and favor Proverbs 18 verse in the name of the Lord is a strong tower the righteous can run into it and be safe. My family and I were traveling. My wife and three kids took a flight ahead of me and I was to catch them.

Later that day, but I saw on social media that they were posting pictures from their flight and they were having breakfast and when they call. I tried to play it cool, but I I said, Mrs. Charles, you all are having breakfast on this picture on the flight which means somehow Jan ended up in first class you took my SkyMiles and put chewing children in first class. She said I didn't do that you did that, I said. How did I do that. She said you named my son after you HB and when we checked in. They thought he was you and we all got bumped up because of your SkyMiles this in the real sense and a greater deeper hideaway is how the Lord puts his name on. We have favor and grace and mercy that we do not deserve, because the Lord has put his name on us. He said I will will not only put my name on you, but I will bless you and I will bless you. Verses 24 to 26 dramatically pictures blessings of God as a habitual actor on going activity but verse 27 is pointing to the future God will bless.

It is his promise for the days to come. Warren Worsley said it well. Christians don't live all explanations.

We live on promises you can live a long time on the promise if you trust the one who is made the promise. God is worthy of our trust because Numbers 23 verse 19 says God is not a man that he should lie with the Son of Man that he should change his mind as he said, and he will not do it or has he spoken, he will not fulfill it.

Know God is faithful to all of his promises, fact Paul tells us in his Corinthian letter that all of the promises of God are a man in Christ Jesus because of his son who died at the cross and rose from the dead.

We have blessed assurance that all of the promises of God can be trusted. So were standing on the promises of Christ my cave through eternal ages that his prices were glory in the highest, I will shout us standing on, since I figure all of this as we anticipate attending worship this Sunday when our pastor raises his hands and pronounces the benediction. We will remember to an even greater degree, but goodness of our God.

You're listening to Renewing Your Mind on this Friday and it's been our pleasure to present a new teaching series by Dr. HB Charles Junior titled blessing and praise is a look at the wonderful benedictions and doxologies that we find in Scripture. This is an eight part series were offering it to you on a single DVD for your donation of any amount to regular ministries and so we invite you to call us and requested our number is 800-435-4343 but you can also go online to Renewing Your Renewing Your Mind is a listener supported outreach avoided her ministries sure it was founded in 1971 by Dr. RC Sproul.

He wanted at the outset to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God to as many people as possible.

That continues to be our mission today here in 2020, and because of your generous support worsening that happened through the years we have produced more than 500 teaching series and published more than 500 books plus a magazine that is more than 250,000 readers every month. In addition, our free mobile app is launched.

Millions of times per year all around the world. So I think you can see Barbara so grateful for your continued support.

We've all experienced good times and bad times but it's in those times of turmoil that many of us begin to wonder where is God in all of this. I hope you join us next week as we bring your doctor scroll series, the providence of God. What role does God play in our lives. Join us beginning Monday here on Renewing Your Mind

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