- The LORD bless you, and keep you.
- The LORD make his face to shine on you,
- and be gracious to you.
- The LORD lift up his face toward you,
- and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26 WMB
That blessing always lifts my spirit. May it lift yours.
Kretzmann gives us this edifying commentary on that wonderful blessing.
V. 22. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v. 23. Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, especially at the time of dismissal at the end of worship, Lev. 9, 22, saying unto them,
v. 24. The Lord bless thee and keep thee. This first strophe of the blessing forms the general foundation of the entire benediction, of the whole salvation brought to men by revelation. The blessing of Jehovah should be upon them, give to them all prosperity in material and spiritual things in full and rich measure. This includes that He will turn aside every curse, ward off every adversity from those that are His. The providence of God, both in granting blessings and in hindering misfortunes, is thus invoked.
V. 25. The Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee. While the face of Jehovah is terrible upon those that oppose Him and strikes down His enemies with the rays of His glory, it is full of the richest and warmest sunlight of salvation to those that turn to Him in faith, Ps. 27, 1; 43, 3; 44, 4. But the greatest beauty of this light consists in the fact that it throws rays of mercy into the heart that sighs for mercy and forgiveness. It is the grace of God in the redemption of Jesus Christ that blots out all guilt.
V. 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace. From the position of being raised up above the believer and shedding forth the rays of His merciful blessing, the warmth of the love of God sinks down upon the sinner and penetrates his entire being with its miraculous power. The aim of this work on the part of Jehovah is to give to the believer His peace, His salvation. The children of God should have the full assurance that all strife is now a thing of the past, that they are forever rescued out of all the distress and curse of sin and its consequences. The threefold blessing reminds us of the Trinity of the Godhead and of the threefold form of the work of God’s goodness and mercy in dealing with His children. There can be no doubt, therefore, that we are justified in finding here a statement of the Trinity of God. 2)
V. 27. And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. The blessing, as spoken by the priest, was not a mere pious wish, but it actually transmitted the divine power of blessing to the people. Every Israelite that believed these words as pronounced upon him went to his home with the blessing of the Lord resting upon him. To this day the members of the congregation are dismissed with the words of this blessing, and should take home with them the merciful goodness of the Triune God, especially the assurance of the forgiveness of their sins.
The Popular Commentary of the Bible by Paul E. Kretzmann, Ph. D., D. D., has been a favorite among confessional Lutherans since publication of the first volume in 1921. http://www.kretzmannproject.org/