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The Book Thief
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
On Gold Mountain
Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
The Distant Land of My Father
The Paris Wife
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Fall of Giants
World Without End
A Stolen Life
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
The Pillars of the Earth
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
The Road
Trials of the Earth: The Autobiography of Mary Hamilton
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Cutting for Stone

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« trusting God with my children | Main | gaze of God »

blessing of God

The words of the Aaronic blessing offer us a powerful glimpse into the heart of our God and our own desire. All of us at our core wish to have God’s blessing upon our lives. We all wish to see God face to face and feel His love and acceptance of us. 

As I have been musing God’s gaze upon my life, I encountered these words in Numbers 6. The blessing goes like this:

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.

God gave these words to Moses to give to Aaron (the first high priest) and his sons to give to the Israelites. They were embarking on their journey through the desert. This is the first time the Israelites were “numbered.” They were numbered some 40 years later when they finally did go in and claim the land.

This speaks to me because God knew they would fail. Even with these powerful words of blessing upon them, they chose their own way and chose not to trust their God. God disciplined them for 40 years. 40 years. All the time with his face shining upon them.

Our God, an Artist, delivered this blessing in an artful poetic form to his children. The structure in Hebrew is important. Line one has 15 letters forming three words, line two 20 letters for five words, line three has 25 letters for seven words. The language builds in emphasis. 

And so God’s kids started out a journey doomed to “failure” with a poem. In my mind’s eye I see haggard and bedraggled old Israelites wandering the desert. Their shoes in tact but what of their souls? They must have wanted to give something to their kids, the next generation. Something different. I picture them kissing their children goodnight and uttering these words over them willing them to believe. I conjure up visions of them struggling through heat, snake attacks, human-eating earthquakes, plagues and clinging to this poem at the very center of their being. 

I imagine their last breaths surrounded by this next generation of warriors uttering the words of faithfulness. He is faithful when we are not. 

This poem held them together at their center. This poem grew around it another generation of believers who were courageous, obedient, conquerers. 

I wrestle with my flesh and the principalities and powers to accept these words. I desire to know deep down in my center that God loves me and his face is turned toward me. He is brimming with love perfected by the death and resurrection of his Son. I am becoming more and more aware of the places that don’t believe. I offer those parts a seat at the table of grace. Pass the poem. Munch on these words. Let them become a part of you. Believe. Pass it on.

And I say to my sons, He is faithful when we are not.

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