The Benediction

Numbers 6:22
May the Lord bless you and protect you. May
the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace

In many churches, as part of the liturgy, the pastor
closes the worship service with a benediction (good
pronouncement) invoking God’s help and blessings
upon the worshipers.

There are many benedictions in the Bible (for example:
Psalm 121:7-8; Romans 15:13; 2 Cor. 13:14; Ephesians
3:20-21; Jude 1:24-25). One of the most famous biblical
benedictions was used in the movie Deep Impact. Before
the big comet crashed to earth, the US President (played
by Morgan Freeman) said: “The Lord bless you and keep
you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be
gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and
give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26 NIV).

As they wandered through the wilderness, the Israelites
knew they wouldn’t make it to the Promised Land
without God’s help. They looked to Him for the basic
necessities of food, water and protection. The repetition
of God’s covenantal name, “the Lord” (Yahweh), was a
reminder of God’s faithful involvement in their lives. This
benediction is a reminder that as we journey through
this dangerous and evil world, we too would not survive
without His favor, grace, and mercy.

In his book Bless You, Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe
wrote of Numbers 6:24-26, “This benediction may be
the most quoted of all the benedictions.” Although the
benediction was intended for Israel as a people of God,
“the six ‘you’ pronouns are all singular, indicating that
God’s blessing is for the individual.”

The next time you hear a pastor pronouncing this benediction at the end of
a worship service, remember that it’s a petition on your behalf, asking and
affirming that God Himself will provide for and protect you (v.24), assuring you
of His presence (vv.25-26), pardon (v.25), and peace (v.26). —K.T. Sim

What do the biblical
benedictions in Ephesians 3:20, Jude 1:24,
and Hebrews 13:20
say about God and you?

Would you agree or
disagree that Christians
today do not take
benedictions seriously?
Why or why not? What
is being asked for in this
benediction? (Numbers 6:24). How is this
benediction meaningful
for you?

re:creation - A Special Message from Steven Curtis Chapman:
“I wrote the song “Do Everything” really to remind myself and also to encourage others that everything matters; everything we do can be done as an act of worship,” says Steven. “1 Corinthians 1:1 says, “Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” There’s this tendency it seems to think of life with this line drawn down the middle where there’s the spiritual stuff on one side and then just the stuff of life on the other. Really though, I think God wants us to remember, and I’m trying to learn, that whether it’s walking the dog, washing the dishes, taking out the trash... to the really big spiritual moments, that all of that can be done as an act of worship and everything can be done to bring glory to the God who made us for that very purpose.”