Many of you are likely familiar with a song titled, “The Blessing,” that has quite literally swept the world during this pandemic. One of the most remarkable developments with this particular song is the way in which it has been taken up and recorded, for all to hear, in many of the world’s different languages. Though human language developed in a context of disobedience to God’s command (see Genesis 11), I’m convinced that it is nonetheless one of God’s best gifts to human beings. Human language is beautiful. And it is never more beautiful than when put to the service of praising God. Consider for instance this version of “The Blessing” sung in Arabic. I love the sounds of Arabic. I love the fact that Felton Bible Church has the privilege of partnering with people working to bring the Gospel to people who speak Arabic. I love that Arabic – so often employed today in worship of the false God of Islam – will one day sound only to the praise of the one who named himself, “I Am.”
As you listen to this song, consider its source – Numbers 6:22-27:
“The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
Moses gave this blessing to Aaron and his sons to speak as priests over the house of Israel. This is a priestly blessing. Thus, it is entirely appropriate that the church would sing a song like this. Why? Because the true church of Jesus Christ consists of people chosen by God to be a “royal priesthood, a holy a nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Did you catch that? Being priests of the living God is a matter of proclaiming the excellencies of him – of God – who called you. Called you from what…into what? From darkness…into his marvelous light. From the darkness of sin, of rebellion against God, of death…into the light of salvation, of obedience, of life. How did this happen? Only through Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is the light of the world who brings life: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).
Enjoy this song. Enjoy the deep truth it reflects. But enjoy it…oh please enjoy it…as you stand redeemed from your sin by the blood of Jesus Christ who died for you on the cross. Enjoy it while, by the sheer grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ as your King and Savior, you pass from death to life. The blessing that you and I have to speak over the world is not one of generalized good will. No, it’s far better. It is the blessing of a call to come and worship at the feet of Jesus. If you enjoy this song like that, then indeed you will bless all to whom God brings you this week.
Free Bonus Thought: Did you know that blessing of Numbers 6 appears on the oldest example of written biblical text uncovered thus far? Check out this “Fix Your Mind” post from last year.