Thursday, September 1 – By Rebecca Dauksas
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons,
‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27
This is a beautiful and comforting blessing from our reading today. A blessing was one way of asking God’s divine favor to rest upon others. This ancient blessing was supposed to convey hope that God would (1) bless and protect (2) smile on them (be pleased), (3) be gracious (merciful and compassionate), (4) show his favor toward them (give His approval), and (5) give peace. (Life Application Study Bible, Tyndale).
I noticed that the priests put the LORD’s Name on the Israelites. This has also been suggested as a way to designate the Israelites as the LORD’s people. The LORD’s Name is so important, so holy, so precious, but it seems that I see it misused more than ever. I hear children scream out the name of God when they are upset, youth yell the name of God because they are happy, or couples saying it over and over after having their newly remodeled house revealed on the latest HGTV show. I asked a teen girl why they misuse the name of God; after all, she has known the Ten Commandments since she was a child. She said I just didn’t understand because that is not a big deal to anyone anymore. Just this week, I had a cold and was watching a late show that I usually do not watch. I was shocked when a comic skit had a Muppet curse with God’s Name. Blasphemy is committed for the sake of a laugh. I was not amused and I won’t be tuning in to that show again.
Each line of the Priestly Blessing begins with the name Yahweh. The ancient Hebrew authors revered Him so much that they would not write His full name. In Hebrew it was written as YHWH, the symbol meaning Yahweh. It is built on the word for “I AM” (Exodus 3:14).
It is my prayer that we will experience this blessing today. That we will receive the LORD in every way. That it will be evident to everyone that we are the LORD’s people who are called by His Name.
— We are so pleased to have Rebecca writing devotions for us this week. Rebecca Dauksas has been a Youth Worker her entire adult life. She serves on the Youth Advisory Committee, has been a regional Youth Director, and is serving as the Youth Director at her local congregation of Guthrie Grove Church in South Carolina. She enjoys working with all ages of youth, interns and service-learning students and encouraging Youth Workers in their ministry and is looking forward to teaching a Youth Ministry class at ABC this fall. She has a passion for the scriptures and loves exploring them with Youth. She volunteers in her community including a Christian crisis center. Rebecca and Dave, her husband of 26 years, enjoy living on a farm near the church.