Be Blessed

images-11Numbers 6:24-27 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

It was God’s command that the priest should bless the people of Israel with the above blessing. It literally placed God’s name upon them and brought them blessing.  This blessing was spoken every morning following the morning sacrifice.

It is said that this blessing was not a blessing by the priest. But, because God gave it to the priest to speak word for word that it was the blessing of God Himself.

The practice today is to speak this blessing as a closing blessing at the close of the synagogue.

The understanding was that no one should look at the face of the priest while he quoted the blessing. Instead, the people would look to the ground as not to be distracted, allow more focus on the words of the blessing. Tradition says that when the temple was standing that the glory of the Lord would shine from the fingers of the priest.

I am not sure where the practice began, but while quoting the blessing the priest would hold his hands in what we know today the valkin greeting. It formed the shape of the Hebrew letter, Shin, which stood for Shaddai – All Sufficient.

From Genesis 49:25, Jacob’s blessing, Shaddai also means breast or the one who is sufficient to nurture.

Be blessed.


Faith + Our Words

Speak it Abraham

Speak it Abraham

In Genesis 17:1 God revisited Abram after 24 years of silence. Keep in mind that God led him from his home country to a place where he was a foreigner.

(Chapter 15) At the age of 75 God promised him that he would be the father of MANY nations. In order for this to be possible Abram would have to be a father. It is interesting that Abram means “exalted father” and yet he had no children and time was running out.

(Chapter 16) When he was 85 Sarai came to him with an idea. He could have a son through her maiden.  That was cool with Abram. He had no argument against it. So, Ishmael was born meaning “God hears.” But his name was not reflectent upon Abram’s experience but upon Hagar’s experience. That is for another topic.

(Chapter 17) Now it has been 24 years since God gave Abram the promise. At the age of 99 he and Sarai both were physically well beyond the ability to have children and yet God reaffirms His promise. The difference between this promise and the earlier promise is that God changes Abram’s name to Abraham.

There Are Two Things To Note Here

1. In order to create the name Abraham God simply slipped a “heh” in the middle of his name. According to the Rabbis the “heh,” the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet which looks like an open window, represents the breath of God. You can find this letter in most bibles at the division before Psalm 119:33. Therefore, one could say that God placed His breath in Abram’s name.

2. His name now means “father of many nations.” From this point, whenever he introduced himself to others he was introducing himself, by faith, as the father of many nations. Every time Sarah would call him to dinner she did so by calling him the father of many nations.

Daily Abram, now Abraham, was involved in verbally confessing the promise of God.

The result? Abraham and Sarah had their child a year later. For twenty-four years Abram had the promise. For a few weeks or months he spoke the promise and it brought back life to their bodies and their physical passion. The promise became reality through their faith and their spoken word.

Faith has to be created through the spoken word. Hebrews 11:3 says that “by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.

In Mark 10 a blind man came to Jesus and He asked the blind man what he wanted. “That I may receive my sight,” he said. Jesus then told him that his faith made him well. What faith? The spoken word. It is the power of the confession of faith.

Feel free to leave your comments or insights.