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God’s Word for You

Numbers 6:25a His face shines on you

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

25 The LORD make his face shine on you…

The phrase “make his face shine” compares God and his unseen but obvious blessings to the sun shining; the glory of daylight chasing away the shadows, fears, and uncertainties of night. “Until the day breaks and the shadows flee” is a phrase that is sung twice in the Song of Solomon (Song 2:17, 4:6). God is the one who brings even the secrets of the deepest shadows to light (Job 12:22). Man looks for God’s light, for his brightness, “but we walk in deep shadows” (Isaiah 59:9). Therefore God turns to us and sends his blessings to us, which would not come without his consent and activity. How is it that God makes the glory of his face shine on us?

First, he does so with the light of the sun and moon, not figuratively, but quite literally. We return here to the doctrine of God’s providence and the benefits of the sun on the earth. The sun does not only bring us light, but heat and even certain vitamins come to us through the rays of the sun. The moon, also, gives benefits. The moon brings tides to our seas, light to the darkness of the night, and with its phases it gives us a calendar for many purposes (Genesis 1:14). These are in every way the least of the blessings of God’s continuous attention on us, but it is obvious that for the unbeliever, whether ancient pagan or modern skeptic, these blessings outweigh all others to the foolish, unbelieving mind. Ancient man worshiped the sun and moon as the greatest divinities. Modern man searches for answers among the stars.

Second, God makes his face shine on us with his good pleasure. Without God’s delight, the creation would never have taken place, and the Triune God would remain alone, perfect, content; but we would never have existed. It was his purpose that brought us into being, and his continuing purpose for his creation that allows our world to continue. By “world,” we can think of three ever-tightening circles to our way of thinking. The outermost world of our existence is the universe beyond our planet, infinite, spacious, wonderful, fraught with dangers, yet perhaps one day a source of new providence from God for us all. The second idea of world is the world itself, our earth, and all that transpires here. Third is the world that most of us are truly concerned with, the little world of our immediate perception, from home to work to church and back home again, with the little diversions that take up our time in all our little moments.

Third, God makes his face shine on us with the seemingly small blessings that fill our days. Here we find God’s shining face in things like music, art, abstract thought, and those ingenious human inventions and other things given to man which came directly from God (Genesis 3:21). Genesis 4:20-24 presents a list that puts an end to speculation: the tent, the keeping of livestock, musical instruments (strings and wind instruments), the making of bronze and iron tools, and the idea of poetry all came from the generations that were produced by Adam and Eve in their long lifetime; the first thousand years of the world’s existence and not over the course of millions of years at all.

The face of God shining on us is, remember, the shining face of God upon you, personally, which once again is emphasized by the singular form of “you” in this phrase. Over and over again, the words of the Lord given to the priests and ministers is spoken to many, many Christians, but each phrase is directed to you, yourself. God has always been thinking of you since before creation began, when he “called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 1:9-10). Your “gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love” (Jonah 4:2) has a wonderful plan for your life, allowing you to choose which of many pleasing steps to take, all within his design and each within your ability to accomplish. Remain within his will, praying for this along with other requests that you make, and let him guide you in the way you will serve him with your work, with your worship, and with the many other choices you will make. Young woman, which young suitor will make a godly husband for you? Young man, which young woman will be a godly wife and companion for the rest of your life, a good mother for your children, a good partner as you steer the course for the rest of your days? Older man, what godly service might you still accomplish with the days and hours that remain in your life’s afternoon? Older woman, what glory might you reflect back to God as he shines his face upon you and sends you his grace? Bask in the warmth and light of God’s countenance, and seek it whenever your days seem dark.

“I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.” (Psalm 119:58)

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

 

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