February 6, 2009
I was reading this traditional rabbinic blessing in Numbers 6:24-26 to bless a friend who is going through a difficult time, and saw these verses differently tonight.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (NIV)
“God bless you and keep you, God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make you prosper.” (MSG)
The phrase “the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace” jumped out at me. Or, as The Message puts it, “God look you full in the face”….I so want that in my life. I want God to look me full in the face. I want to experience His gaze, to see the love in His eyes, the reassurance in His direct stare. I want to feel His eyes upon me—I know He’s watching, because the Proverbs 15:3 declares, the “eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” But to have His face completely turned toward my face—eye to eye—implies that His full attention is turned towards me.
It also makes me ask myself a couple of questions:
When His face is turned toward me, what will He see?
When He is looking me full in the face, what else will matter?
And, what a beautiful blessing--to pray for others that the God of the universe would look them full in the face and give them peace.
When His face is turned toward us, and His full gaze shines graciously upon us, and as our hearts are right with Him, may we experience His full blessing and peace.