Blessed to Bless
PERHAPS THE BEGINNING OF PSALM 67 sounds somewhat familiar to you. “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us…Selah.”
This is one of the regular benedictions I pronounce at the end of a worship service on Sunday morning. It comes from Numbers 6:24-26 and it was the blessing that Aaron was told to say over the people of Israel
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD life up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
Truly it is a blessing to know that God smiles upon us and is gracious to us. But notice how verse 1 ends. It ends with that word you often see scattered about the Psalms, “Selah.” Some think that this word is a musical term, since the Psalms were hymns to be sung. Others think this is a literary device that calls us to “stop and reflect on what you just read.”
Regardless, I do think it is good to “stop and reflect on what you just read.” Indeed, in Christ we are greatly blessed – Selah! Think about that. Meditate on that. Rest in that. But then get ready to consider what you read next in Psalm 67.
To what end has God blessed us? He says in verses 2-3…
“That your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!”
God’s grace and blessing shines on us so that we can be a blessing to others. We are blessed so that God’s grace can stream out to the nations.
It is the same thing God said to Abraham when he chose him and his descendants. In Genesis 12:2 God says to Abraham, “I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” Israel was blessed by God so that they would be a source of God’s blessing to the world.
It is good to “stop and reflect on the many blessings God has poured out on you by his grace.” It is good to “Selah”! But don’t stop there. Count also the opportunities and the places where you can be a blessing to others.
Think of your family. Think of your neighbors. Think of your work place. Think of the people you “randomly” encounter throughout the day. Think of your brothers and sisters in Christ. May the welcome God extends to sinners and to the nations, be the same welcome we extend to the people who cross our paths.
You have been blessed so that you can be a blessing. Selah!
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