"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."
The cities of ancient times used to be surrounded by great walls so they could be easily defended. Jericho was a walled city that had double-thick walls made of huge blocks so big they built houses in the walls. When Jerusalem was surrounded by Nebuchadnezzar’s army, the enemy was not able to enter while the walls were intact. However, as soon as some soldiers made an opening to run away and escape, they were intercepted and captured. Through this breach in the walls, the city was soon overrun, set on fire and its inhabitants taken in captivity.
The walls were necessary to protect the city, and in our lives one of the best ways we can build up the strongest walls around us is through God’s blessing. The blessings of God are generally accompanied by provision, protection, favor, mercy, honor, and peace.
In ancient times, the Jews would bless each other with the above greeting we find in the book of Numbers. These words have been, and still are, a blessing for today’s Christians, as well. We all enjoy hearing words of encouragement and hope because they are pleasing to our ears. God’s blessing accompanied Abel, and he was commended because of his offering. For Abraham, it was a change of nature, abundant provision, and blessing for his generations. For Isaac, it was finding the woman with whom he would spend his life. For Jacob, it was the establishing of his descendants. For Joseph, the blessing caused him to be the most important person in Egypt, protecting his entire family. For Moses, it was finding his purpose. For David, the blessing was being shepherded by God. For Solomon, it was finding wisdom. For Elijah, it was restoring the fellowship between God and the people. For Daniel, it was finding grace in the midst of pagan governors. For Jesus, it was offering His life. For Paul, it was taking the gospel to the ends of the Earth.
God’s blessing is closely joined with protection because Satan is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. However, if we submit to God, the enemy will flee from us. Note that the culmination of all these blessings is peace, for the verse ends with this word. It does not end with confusion, and it does not finish with doubt or fear; rather it says, “And give you peace.”
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Days ago, as one of the Sunday meetings finished, a woman approached me with her young daughter and said, “Pastor, do you remember me?” Although I tried to think of the circumstance I had met her, I could not. But she said, “You prayed for my newborn daughter. Do you remember I told you the doctors had diagnosed her with Down’s Syndrome? Six years have passed already; can you see any effects of that sickness?” I told her that I couldn’t, that her daughter looked perfect, and I asked her to tell me how the miracle had happened. She said, “Three days after being born, they detected Down’s Syndrome. In that moment, I cried out with all of my heart and told the Lord, ‘God, heal my daughter! Holy Spirit, heal my daughter! I will serve you for the rest of my life, but please, Lord, heal her!’ That prayer was so intense that I finished completely drenched in sweat. Later, I went to visit my daughter, who was in a special treatment unit as her situation was very precarious. I knew my prayer had reached the presence of God. As I walked in the room, I saw that her whole appearance had changed. I already had the substance of faith! Later on I brought her to you so that you, Pastor, could lay hands on her and pray for her. And the Lord did the miracle.” God heard the prayer and gave her the victory (Esperanza Arcila).
"God extended His favor toward me and gave me His provision, protection, mercy, honor, and peace."
Today's post is an excerpt from Pastor Cesar Castellanos' book, Declarations of Power for 365 Days of the Year: Volume Three.
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: Nehemiah 6; Proverbs 11:1-15
- New Testament: Luke 17:1-10; 2 Timothy 1:8-18