Nearly every week, I close our services at The Red Brick Church in Stillman Valley with a biblical benediction that is thousands of years old: “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.”
I am sure many of you have received that same benediction. What a wonderful thing to think that God would make His face shine upon us. It seems like almost too much to expect. Is it okay to ask God to be with us and guide us in such an intimate way? How we can we legitimately ask God for such a wonderful blessing?
Psalm 67 answers the question. The Psalm begins with this same benediction asking that God would be gracious and bless us and make His face shine upon us. But, then the Psalm continues, “That your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”
According to the Psalmist, the legitimate reason for asking God to bless is that we might tell the whole world that God is great. The proper motivation for praying for the smile of God on our lives should be that we might proclaim Christ to all nations.
Many of us would agree that God has made His face shine upon you. If that is the case, then make let’s make sure we are doing all we can to make the name of Christ known throughout the whole earth. What can we do to tell people about the greatness of the Triune God across the street and around the world?
Now — for all of you, “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 towards you and give you peace.”
*Revised from an earlier version.