What is the most powerful thing in the universe?
Our tongue is one of the the most powerful thing in the universe. And like most things of power, it can be used for good or bad. It can dish out curses or it can pour out blessings. It can be a weapon or it can be a healer. Or it can pour out curses or blessings. Our words matter. And God wants to say prayers of blessing on the people around us.
In Numbers 6, God gave instructions to the priests to share God’s blessings upon God’s people. God intended for their words to change people’s lives, their families, and their futures – for the good. He instructed them to say:
“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.” (RSV)
What does this blessing mean?
Let’s break down each line.
“The Lord bless you and keep you.”
This statement was a prayer asking God to protect His people, sustain them, and guard them. In Matthew 18:10, Jesus said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father in heaven.” Jesus revealed that the angels watch over and guard the children on earth, and at the same time, they are looking at God’s shining face in heaven.
“The Lord make His face shine upon you.”
This statement was a request for God to grant them His favor. God’s favor, or grace, is God giving us the ability to do something which is humanly impossible for us to do. The “favor of God” can be described as a divine kindness, or an act of true compassion on the part of God Himself toward needy and undeserving human recipients. Often in Scripture this act of God toward unworthy men or women is referred to as God’s “grace” – which means “the unmerited favor of God,” It also implies that God does not shine His face on everyone. He causes His face to shine on those who seek His face and want to be a blessing to Him.
“And be gracious to you.”
To be gracious means ‘to favor,’ ‘to show kindnesses’ to an inferior, and ‘to be compassionate.’ It is God surrounding you with His steadfast lovingkindness. In Isaiah 30:18 it says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.” God is gracious because He is love. It is His character to love even if love is not returned to Him. He will give us good things because of His goodness. He extends favor, mercy, and kindness on whoever He pleases because it’s who He is.
“The Lord up His countenance upon you.”
This is is a picture of a father smiling and taking pleasure in his child. When the Lord lifts His countenance upon us, it shows that He is looking on us for our good. It is him turning His face towards with with divine approval.
“And give you peace.”
In other words, a tranquil heart and life – even in the midst of trails and the storms of life.
A blessing not for vain repetitions
It is important for us to understand that these are not just words to be repeated like “God is good, God is great, let us thank him for our food.” These words were given by God to the priests to say to the people – words that would being God’s literal protection, favor, love, approval and peace.
Is this prayer of Blessing only for the Priests in Israel?
Were these words only meant to be used by Aaron’s sons, the priests? Today, we are a priesthood of believers as followers of Christ and we have the power and wonderful privilege to bless others with the words we say. By saying words of blessing over another person, we are in fact sending a supernatural blessing to the person over whom we speak those words.
Consider these verses that tell us about the power of our words:
- “Evil words destroy one’s friends; wise discernment rescues the godly.” Proverbs 11:9
- “It is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent.” Proverbs 11:12
- “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.” Proverbs 11:17
- “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15: 1
- “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
- “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24
- “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.” Proverbs 18:4
- “Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.” Proverbs 18:20
- “Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies.” Proverbs 20:15
- “Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.” Proverbs 25:18
Our Words Have Power
What if because of the words we say, someone didn’t fulfill God’s plan for their life because we said it was an impossible dream? What if because of the words we say, we make a child, friend, staff person feel like a failure? Or what if because of the words we say, a lost person rejects Christ?
Our words have power.
What if when the crazy driver cuts you off you say words of blessing over them? What if when your spouse says something hurtful you say words of blessing over them? Or what if when your children leave for school you say words of blessing over them? What if your tyrant boss makes you feel like an idiot and you respond with words of blessing?
What will the words you speak today bring to others – curses or blessing? Will you speak life?
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For America to see revival, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says we are to seek God’s face. Jeremiah tells us that we will find Him when we search for Him with all our hearts.
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