Numbers 6:1-7:9; Mark 12:38-44; Psalms 49:10-20; Proverbs 14:34-35
OT: “The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. You should say to them, “May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.”’ In this way they will pronounce my name over the Israelites, and I will bless them.”” (Numbers 6:22-27 CSB)
This is the blessing that God gave to the priests of Israel to proclaim over His people – the Aaronic Blessing. The blessing is not wealth or power or influence or property. Those are all earthly and temporary things. They may be results of blessing, but they are not the actual blessing. What is the blessing? The blessing is that God’s name is placed on you. God said, by speaking this blessing over the Israelites, you will affix My Name to them… and because My Name is on them, I will protect them, show them My favor, and give them peace. This blessing was only for the Israelites – and those who are in Christ have been grafted into this blessing through faith in Christ. However great this blessing is – to have God’s name stamped upon you – those who are in Christ have an even greater blessing. In John 17, Jesus prays what is referred to as His priestly prayer… and in that prayer, He prays over all believers an even greater blessing. Beyond having God’s name on them, believers in Christ are one with God. Christ is in them, they are in Christ, and Christ is in the Father: all are one… inseparable from God’s life and fullness and joy and peace. His Name isn’t just on us. He Himself is in us, and we are in Him. What a blessing!
NT: “Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. Summoning his disciples, he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had — all she had to live on.”” (Mark 12:41-44 CSB)
True generosity is not measured by the amount, but by the sacrifice. A millionaire giving $10,000 – though it may seem generous, is not as generous as a widowed woman in Nepal who can barely keep food on her table giving a few hundred Rupees. In that scenario, which person displays the character of God? The one who gives a very small percentage of their surplus or the one who gives all? In that scenario, which one is truly blessed with the name and nature of God on them and in them… which one will be blessed with God’s favor and peace? I have been to Nepal and spent time with those who have been rescued off the streets and out of slavery, and adopted into a Spiritual Family. Though they have very little, they give all of themselves to serve the Lord… and they are truly blessed!
Psalms: “Do not be afraid when a person gets rich, when the wealth of his house increases. For when he dies, he will take nothing at all; his wealth will not follow him down. Though he blesses himself during his lifetime — and you are acclaimed when you do well for yourself — he will go to the generation of his ancestors; they will never see the light. Mankind, with his assets but without understanding, is like the animals that perish.” (Psalms 49:16-20 CSB)
Though wealth may profit you in this life, in and of itself, it is not a blessing. It cannot protect you. It cannot give you true joy. It cannot give you peace. It cannot give you certain hope beyond the grave. Only the blessing of the Lord will do that… and riches cannot buy His blessing. His blessing comes through faith in Him and surrender to Him.