May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace. - Numbers 6:26
God blesses his people. We receive great benefits from our association with him. These benefits are designed to enrich our lives, and this enrichment becomes evident to those who live within the sphere of our influence. So God blesses people in order that they might be a blessing!
It was customary for the Israelites to be “blessed” by the high priest. The Israelites had been called by God to be his unique people, and this blessing would designate them as such. As the surrounding people groups observed the conditions under which God’s people lived and the special ways in which they conducted their lives, it would become apparent that they were no ordinary people and their God was no ordinary god. The people would exhibit the divine favor by demonstrating that God had given them “his peace.” The word peace means literally “wholeness” or “well-being,” and it was no ordinary sense of well-being that they would enjoy. It was the well-being that comes only from God himself—his peace!
Paul talked about “God’s peace which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand” (Phil. 4:7). God’s peace, which is the “peace of God,” should not be confused with “peace with God.” The “peace of God” is the inner state of well-being that is the birthright of those who have responded to God’s offer of forgiveness and have been brought into a position called “peace with God.” The peace of God is a result of having peace with God. The former is a result of the latter.
This inner sense of wholeness is something that cannot be explained in purely human terms. Anyone can seem to be at peace when he has eradicated all stress and negotiated the end of all hostility. But the peace of God is that which we enjoy while the stress continues unabated and the hostility persists. How can this be? It works when we realize that when we have committed ourselves to the Captain of our salvation in ongoing, trusting obedience, he will make our well-being his personal responsibility. So we can rest assured in his benevolence and competence in the midst of the storms of life. We can live with an equanimity that defies description and surpasses belief.
For Further Study: Numbers 6:22-27
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