by Nelson Price

NUMBERS 6:23-26

Jesus Christ gathered with His bewildered followers on the eve of
His execution for His last time with them. Confusion and fear held
them in a firm grip as He spoke. Much of what He said is contained
in John 14-17. In that hostile environment His talk was punctuated
with such words as "joy" and "peace." He spoke often in various
settings of His followers as being "blessed." That is us.

Yet, much of our conduct and conversation gives the impression
we have little joy, peace, and experience few blessings. Listen the
next time you speak to someone with such a simple greeting as,
"Hello, how are you?"

Two common negative responses are often heard. One: "So far,
so good." This sounds like the response of a person on safari in a
predator infested jungle. Things have been going pretty good so far
but at any minute I expect an attack resulting in catastrophe.

Further translated, "God has taken care of me so far, but at any
minute I expect His provision and protection to expire.

A second even more negative response is, "Tired!"

It is 9:00 AM and a healthy individual says, "I am tired." Causes you
that have a "I can't wait until 3:00 PM" attitude to cycle back and
see just how much more tired this person is.

In the Old Testament era followers of Jehovah were taught a
special prayer which gave cause for optimism. It is often called the
equivalent of the Lord's Prayer in the Old Testament. It is called the
Aaronic Benediction.

"The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face
shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His
countenance upon you, And give you peace" (Numbers 6: 24 - 26).

God taught us this prayer. Blessing is His idea. A simple response
to the greeting, "Hello, how are you?" should well be, "Blessed."

The prayer in faith expects God to draw near and enfold one in His
grace. To pray it is to live expectant ...

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