The Aaronic Blessing: A Wish or a Promise? (Devotional Moment)

The Aaronic Blessing: A Wish or a Promise?

In Numbers six God himself instructed that Aaron was to bless with the following blessing:

“The LORD bless you [יְבָרֶכְךָ֥] and keep you [וְיִשְׁמְרֶֽךָ]; The LORD make His face shine [יָאֵ֨ר] upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift [יִשָּׂ֨א] up His countenance upon you, And give you peace [וְיָשֵׂ֥ם].” ’“So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them [אֲבָרֲכֵֽם].” (Num 6:24-27 NKJV)

While the typical translation catches the gist of the blessing, there is more than could be gathered.

The nearly unanimous translation translates the verbs in what is known as a third person command or jussive which is to say that person A is suggesting or hoping that person C will do something (generally on behalf of person B). Thus the translation of “the LORD bless you” carries with it the speaker (in this case Aaron) is calling upon the LORD to do something. Though this is a possible translation, I would like to suggest another reading; the future indicative.

The future indicative is indicating what will (certainly) happen in the future. Though the difference between these understandings is only a nuance, I suggest the application to our lives is enormous. While the jussive reflects a wish or a hope of what God will do, the indicative reflects what will most certainly be. Thus, the LORD will bless you, and the LORD will keep you. The LORD will make his face to shine upon you and will be gracious. He will lift up his face and He will give peace. The indicative reading is strengthened by God’s own words in verse 27 where he says that he will bless.

While the jussive reading is grammatically possible, the indicative reading gives the reader greater confidence: the LORD will bless; not just maybe!  With that promise, walk confidently with your God!   

Does God Want to Kill Me?

“Is it such an insignificant thing that you brought us out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness? Did you bring us here to kill us?(Num 16:13)

The slanderous accusation the Israelites made against God is something that has always sounded unbelievable. After all that He had done for them by rescuing them from slavery and destroying Pharaoh and his army and many, many other things – to suggest that he desired to kill them is slander plain and simple. The trouble is, I find myself often guilty of the same remark: “God – you have brought me into my current situation to kill me! You are going to let me die, or at least fail miserably! You don’t care because if you did…” I then begin to follow it up with something like: “My previous situation was better, send me back to Egypt please.”

The solution? Remember that God really does love you and care about you! He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is not allowing our current (difficult) situation to kill us or ruin us. He will use it to show himself strong.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:32)