Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV) … “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.”
Blessings comes from the Lord! Three times the Lord reiterates it: “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.”
The Lord, Jehovah, the personal name of God, is identified three times as the one from whom blessing comes. Then, at the very end of the passage, just in case you somehow missed it earlier, the Lord sums it up by saying to Moses “I myself”—literal translation, the Hebrew is emphatic here—“I myself will bless them” (v. 27).
Why is there so much emphasis here on where our blessing comes from? Surely it is because of our natural tendency to look for blessing in all the wrong places. In Jeremiah 2:13 the Lord laments this tendency on the part of his people: “my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Instead of going to seek blessing from God, the one from whom all blessings flow, they tried to find their own blessings in places where there was no true blessing to be found. Instead of the fresh springs of the living water of blessing that flow from the Lord, they scratched around in stagnant, muddy pools of their own making. For Israel that often meant looking to other countries like Egypt and Assyria to protect them from their enemies instead of going to the Lord. It meant worshiping the idols of the nations instead of the true and living God. It meant making golden calves out of the plunder of Egypt instead of devoting it to the worship of God in the tabernacle.
We too have tried to dig our own cisterns and to find blessing in all the wrong places. We have our own muddy pools from which we drink. Some of us have tried to find blessing in possessions: we have tried to find significance by acquiring everything on our want list.
What are blessings? If blessings do not lie in having it all—not in having abundant possessions or wonderful relationships or even being judged “really useful”—what is it? The priestly benediction tells us. It is very simple: blessings lies in a face-to-face relationship with the Lord, experiencing his protection and favor.