Sunday Service

November 21, 2021
Posted in Sermons

The Blessing

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

–Numbers 6:22-27

Sermon Points:

I. God Loves To Bless His People 

II. Blessing Is Fulfilled in Christ 

III. Living From Inheritance Rather Than Circumstance

Theme of Numbers

Numbers starts where Exodus leaves off. The people of Israel have been freed from slavery in Egypt, and are brought into a Covenant with God with the coming of the Law on Mt. Sinai, and despite their rebellion with the Golden calf God graciously and mercifully provides a way for Israel to live near His Holy presence in the tabernacle. God was now leading and guiding them through the wilderness to the promised land caring for their every need. Unfortunately, the Israelites’ faith in and obedience to the God who had delivered them from their horrible life of slavery in Egypt had not grown proportionately. Instead, they rebelled against God again and again as he led them through the wilderness. Their ungratefulness and discontentment lead to unbelief and disobedience which resulted in judgement.

God’s disobedient people were punished by severe plagues, the earth opening swallowing men whole, a consuming deadly fire storm, deadly venomous snakes, and the death sentence of a whole generation in the desert. Even still his faithfulness to bless them remained and his redemptive purposes were not thwarted. Even after the constant rebellion of Gods people, he sovereignly instills only blessing from the foreign prophet sorcerer Balaam who was sent to curse but finds himself only able to bless (Numbers22-24)

Further Reading Related to Obedience and Blessing taken from “Reading the Bible Through the Jesus Lens”:

Obedience is difficult at the best of times. When the road of obedience is full of potholes of apprehension, struggle, and sweat, it is awfully tempting to pull over into a rest area, or even pull a U-turn and head back the way we came — just as the Israelites wanted to do. And this is where the problem lies. Disobedience demands judgment, and everyone disobeys — except one. There is one person, the God-man Jesus Christ, who did not sin and yet paid the price for the disobedience and rebellion of all the rest of us schlubs. Jesus had a hard road ahead of him, yet unlike the Israelites in the wilderness, he did not rebel. Instead, “he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). In fact, the taunts of the mockers while Jesus hung on the cross unintentionally include his greatest commendation: “He trusts in God” (Matthew 27:43). When we believe in our trusting, obedient Lord and what he has done for us, the way is clear for us to enter into God’s promised rest.

We who have believed enter that rest. (Hebrews 4:3)

It is through Jesus Christ that God’s holiness and justice are satisfied and his unshakeable promise of blessing can be realized. All that remains for us is to believe in the gracious provision God has made for us and to enter into the rest he has promised and prepared for us.

Life Group Questions: 

It is so easy for us to get distracted. When we focus on the obstacles on our paths in the wilderness of our lives – focused on pain, suffering, or yielding to temptation. We can get distracted from seeing the rich and fruitful life God intends for us and has made possible through Jesus Christ. When we focus on our own inconsistent faith, sketchy obedience, or our desert circumstances we can get distracted from seeing the payment that has already been made for us and the great hope we have through Jesus Christ. 

1. In what ways have you focused on your “wilderness” (i.e. circumstances, hurts, temptations) instead of daily looking to Christ and trusting him? 

2. In what ways can we take our eyes more and more off our “wilderness” and turn our gaze more and more on what Christ has accomplished? How can we become forward focused people of the promise, looking to find fulfillment in Christ, rather than antidotes or remedies of the world? 

Obedience does not achieve salvation but surely opens a pathway for his kingdom to come as we surrender to His Lordship and the fruit of his blessings to be instilled into our midst. 

3. What is the strongest motivation for your behavior and obedience to Christ? Do you fear God’s judgement if you don’t “behave” – are you trying to “earn” points with God? Instead how could we put this to rest at the cross – daily trusting his sacrifice – and living out of the sacrifice he has already made? 

4. How can we change our motivation for behavior to an eager desire to experience more fully the new abundant life God wants us to enjoy in Christ?

5. In what ways have you already begun to know God’s blessing – his abundant life – his rest? Can others see in you a peace, security, and fulfillment in life that they don’t have? Do you see these things in other believers?Why or why not?

6. What is keeping you from knowing God’s blessing, and abundant life more fully? What are the biggest challenges in your life that threaten to cause you to forget how great God is? Where have you turned for blessing and fulfillment in the “wilderness” instead of in God?