The Sunrise in Numbers 6

Numbers 6:22-26 is a sunrise.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 
The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
(Numbers 6:22-26 ESV)

The Bible as a whole presents a Triune God actively involved with His people. Many people think of God as an objective creator standing apart from His creation, and toward which He acts only as Judge or Helper. But the Bible’s presentation of God is of a subjectively involved, dispensing God whose varied names – Elohim, El Shaddai, Jehovah, Father, Son, Spirit to name a few, reveal His relationship to man is of utmost importance to Him. Ephesians 1 is an exemplary chapter on the Triune God blessing His people, about which Witness Lee comments:

Ephesians chapter one gives us a record of how the Triune God blesses His chosen, redeemed, and transformed people in His divine trinity. This chapter is mainly on the three steps of God’s blessing us in His divine trinity, that is, on how He blesses us in the Father (vv. 3-6), in the Son (vv. 7-12), and in the Spirit (vv. 13-14). Eventually, because of such a flow of the divine Trinity as the blessing to God’s chosen people, there is an issue, and the issue of this blessed flow is the church as the Body of Christ, the fullness of the One who fills all in all (vv. 22-23). (Lee, Life-Study of Numbers, Message 11, p. 78)

These few sentences from Numbers 6 above contain only 33 words but take the whole Bible to unpack. What follows is a summary I’ve done of one message of LSM’s Life-Study of the Bible (Numbers, Message 11)

The Lord bless you and keep you;

This refers to God the Father blessing us (Eph 1:3) and keeping us. Two aspects of keeping are presented in John 17. the Father’s keeping us in His name and keeping us from the evil one. To be kept in the name of the Father brings to the fore His life-relationship which is actuated by His dispensing to make us His sons. To be kept from the evil one highlights His unrivaled power that keeps us out of the realm of influence of Satan.

the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

At his incarnation the Lord Jesus was prophetically called the rising sun which visited the people from on high (Luke 1:78). In Matthew 4:16 He is a great light shining upon the people sitting in darkness. His coming also brought grace, as He – the Bridegroom – is continually gracious to us, continually cheers and exhilarates us with His care, His words. He is uniquely our joy. Lee says of Him in his commentary:

The word face in Numbers 6:25 signifies presence. As the One whose face shines upon us, Christ the Son is the visible presence of the invisible God. God and His presence are invisible, but through His incarnation He became the shining sun. This shining sun is God’s invisible presence becoming visible. God’s presence not only became visible—-it was also shining. On the Mount of Transfiguration, some of the Lord’s disciples beheld Him in His glory (2 Pet. 1:16-18; Matt. 17:1-2) (Lee, Life-Study of Numbers, Message 11, p. 81)

the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

The countenance refers to the expression on the face, and here refers to the Spirit who brings promises of God’s assurance, comfort, and peace. God the Spirit’s coming is as the Lord’s lifting up His countenance on us to assure of all things. We ought not grieve this Spirit (Eph 4:30), but rather enjoy our fellowship with Him (2 Cor 13:14). The result of all this is enjoying the Lord’s peace as our own and having total well-being (John 14:1, 16:30).
Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!
(Psalm 80:3 ESV)
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