Summer Playlist Week #6

Recap: Too many of us let our inner dialogue and thought life dwell on the mistakes and weaknesses of our past. We work so hard to control that struggle and fill our minds with better thoughts and better memories. But what if God has already given us a promise that should fill our minds and drive out any pitfalls of our past? A promise of security, grace, and peace. Numbers 6:24-26 has exactly that promise and Elevation Worship’s song “The Blessing” carries that message to us today. This song is a declaration that gives spiritual breakthrough for us, the people around us, and the generations to come.

Scripture: Numbers 6:22-27

Icebreaker: Did you have a pet growing up? Which one was your most memorable?

Focus Questions

  1. What is the most negative thing you believe about yourself? How long have you believed this? What is the most positive thing you believe about yourself? How long have you believed this?
  2. Describe a blessing you received which you know came from God. 
  3. In what ways can we bless people with our words? 
  4. Why is it so hard to receive a personal blessing from someone? Giving seems so easy and we get excited for others when they are blessed, but why is it hard for us to receive the blessing of Numbers 6:24-26 for ourselves? 
  5. Is there a difference between God’s promises and His blessings? What verse(s) of scripture (promises) do you speak over your life as a life verse? What are some scripture verses you dwell on daily? 
  6. Read Matthew 5:1-11. Is there a verse you want spoken over your life for something you are going through? Is there one trait Jesus names that you want to see happen more in your life? Look up the word “blessed” being used in these verses in a concordance or Blue Letter Bible app. Does this definition change how you view what Jesus is saying? How?
  7. SEND OUT: Rewrite the lyrics of this song to claim these promises for yourself. (For example: The Lord blesses me. The Lord keeps me. The Lord makes his face shine on me and is gracious to me.)  Declare this over yourself, out loud, daily. At the end of a week of declaring these verses over yourself, do you feel different?

 

Digging Deeper (A Personal Study)

The word “bless” has become such a light word in our American society as we say it after sneezes and use a form of it in our email signatures. But let’s take this concept from milk to something more solid and mature (1 Cor. 3:2). Let’s dive into two significant blessings of the Bible that were more profound than the original recipients would ever have understood. 

The beginnings of God bestowing divine favor on humans started in the area of fruitfulness (Gen. 1:28; 9:1), but read Genesis 12 before you read any further and see how God takes it beyond general productiveness to personal, invasive interaction with Abram. This blessing and covenant God made with Abram set the tone of who Israel is today, but also who you are (believe it or not!). This jump that the Almighty made was not just another kid Bible story to turn the page on, this was the beginning of our restoration. This was the beginning of our journey home. The blessing God is talking about in Gen. 12:3 is Jesus Christ Himself. The Bible you’re holding is also a blessing accomplished through Abram’s offspring. Let that sit for a moment. Abram had no idea what was beginning in him when he stared at the stars with God that night in Gen. 15:5. Do you wonder what it would’ve been like to be in that silent moment as Abram started to try to count the stars as God lovingly jested for him to do? What would it have been like to view the heavens with their Creator and dream with Him? Did God look at him in such sparkling hope of what was beginning that His love for mankind lit the torch that sealed His covenant with Abram? (Gen. 15:17-21) This was the intimacy with you that God began pursuing that night.

Generations later, God continued to make His blessings even more intimate while giving a glimpse of what the future held for mankind through what is called the Aaronic Blessing of Numbers 6:23-27. There is so much to study about this blessing in Jewish culture, but let’s take a few moments to stand in awe of God through the holiness and intimacy that comes from these few verses. If you were to travel back in time and see a Levite priest perform this at the Temple after a sacrifice,  you would see the priest stand with his hands spread out above the people with fingers in a “Spock-like” position with the thumbs touching each other in the middle. This formed the Hebrew letter “Shin” which stands for “Shaddai”. Now, El Shaddai is a name for God that first appeared in Gen. 17:1 when God presented Himself to Abram to set up His covenant and change his name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many). The name’s original Hebrew meaning is showing that God is all sufficient. So, in essence, the priests saying the blessing of Numbers are stamping the name of an all sufficient God on the people as they say El Shaddai’s blessing of just that… being all sufficient. The first verse of the blessing, translated back to Hebrew, says, “God will protect and affirm you; He is sufficient in taking care of you”. The second verse says His specific favor over you has endless possibilities of being sufficient in peace, mercy, provision, etc. And finally the last verse is a beautiful revelation of the future of mankind through the Israelites. To us it seems simple with God turning His face  to us, but many scholars and Jewish culture say God is looking up at you because He is holding you up as a father holds a child up above his head in joy. The beauty of this picture, given to Israel multiple generations before it actually came true, is that mankind was able to come home to the Father through Jesus’ redemption of our souls as God’s adopted children. We can now run home to Him and be held up above His head with a joyous gaze enveloping us as His child. Glory to God in the Highest for such a blessing that we can claim and proclaim over lives because of Jesus Christ!  

God’s proclamation of Isaiah 55:11 is once again seen in these blessings. His word does not return void as you study and speak the blessed promises of the Bible over your life (read Isaiah 55:11).

 

Credits & Resources

“The Hebrew Priestly Blessing.” https://www.hebrew4christians.com