2170. The Blessing Of The High Priest

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No. 2170-36:577. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, October 26, 1890, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and to his sons saying, ‘In this way you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them, "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."’ And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” {Nu 6:22-27}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2170, “Blessing of the High Priest, The” 2171}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3371, “Two Choice Benedictions” 3373}
   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Nu 6:24"}
   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Nu 6:25"}
   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Nu 6:26"}
   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Nu 6:27"}

1. The Lord has blessed his people, and he would have them know it. He has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and it is his wish that they should experience the fulness of this blessedness. Are any of the Lord’s people without a sense of his blessing? It is not the will of God that you should continue in this low condition. If you are cast down, he has said to his prophets, “Comfort, comfort my people. Speak comfortingly to Jerusalem.” Have you sinned, and wandered into the darkness? The Lord tells you to return, and encourages you to pray, “Turn us again, oh God, and cause your face to shine; and we shall be saved.” The happy God would have you happy in the enjoyment of his blessing.

2. To bring this blessing constantly to the memory of his chosen, the Lord appointed a representative of himself who should publicly pronounce his blessing upon the people. He chose Aaron, and he told Moses to instruct him. Aaron was not only to offer sacrifices, and to make intercession, but he was to take a higher stand, and bestow blessings, in the name of God, upon the assembled people. Those who are old may fitly pronounce a blessing upon their children, just as Jacob did upon his twelve sons; and the minister of Christ may, in God’s name, pronounce a benediction upon the people. This was the custom in early times: the congregation was dismissed with the gracious words: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.” Our God has appointed One above all others to bless his people, even our great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the antitype of Aaron and his sons; and in the exercise of his high office continually blesses his people. He began his ministry with the Sermon on the Mount, and the word “Blessed.” His whole life was a stream of blessing; for “he went around doing good.” When he rose to heaven, having completed his ministry, it was as “he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.” He “shall so come in the same way as you have seen him go into heaven,” bringing blessings with him, even gifts for men. In the name of the triune God, the Lord Jesus, from the highest glory, truly blesses us today. Do not let your hearts be troubled, as though you were beneath the storm-cloud of the curse. Do you not know that the curse is altogether turned away from us; for he was “made a curse for us?” Only the blessing remains, and Jesus himself remains to repeat it.

3. Remember, with solemn awe and heart-searching, that this blessing was for the children of Israel, and for them only. Aaron was not appointed to bless the nations who were without God; but to bless the children of Israel. The great blessing which our Lord Jesus Christ pronounces is for his people, even for those to whom he gives eternal life. Ask yourselves whether you are believers, as Jacob was. Are you pleaders with God, as Jacob was? It was through his triumphant wrestling with God that he won the princely name of Israel: have you ever prevailed in prayer? If so, though you may feel very feeble, and halt as you come from the scene of conflict, yet to you, even to you, as being spiritually of the seed of Israel, the Lord Christ, the “high priest of our profession,” has given the blessing. But if any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ there is no blessing for him, since that awful text thunders at him: “Let him be Anathema Maranatha” — accursed at his coming. May the Lord grant that such a curse may lie on none of us; but may we, as we hear the priestly benediction, be able by faith to receive it as our own!

4. In handling my text, I shall first dwell for a few minutes upon the general character of this benediction. Much is to be gathered here. Secondly, we shall review the blessing itself, weighing its three clauses, and gathering instruction from each word. Thirdly, we will listen to the divine amen, which is at the close of it: “And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” May the Holy Spirit aid us in this meditation!

5. I. First, then, consider THE GENERAL CHARACTER OF THIS BLESSING.

6. It was a blessing, in the first place, given through a priest. Not every man might take upon himself to bless the people: it was Aaron — God’s high priest, who offered sacrifices for the people — who was called to bless the tribes. The hands which had been stained with the blood of the victim, were stretched out in blessing. Once a year the Lord’s high priest went in to God for the people, not without blood; and when his solemn duties within the veil had been duly done, he came out, and put on those glorious garments which for a while he had laid aside, and he blessed the people, as he was authorized to do. From which I gather that we can get no blessing from God, except through the priesthood of Christ. There must be the sacrifice, and the sprinkling of the blood, before the music of the blessing can sound in our ears. God bestows all spiritual blessings upon us in and through the Lord Jesus, who died for us, and is ordained to be the one mediator between God and man. Christ as the great high priest, who offered himself without spot to God, is the divine channel of blessing. Do we know the Lord’s Anointed? Are we resting in the sacrifice which he has presented, even his own blood? Without Christ no blessing can come to us. Oh my hearers, do not remain without the precious blood, if that is your present condition; but may the good Spirit of God lead you to hear the voice of love, which cries, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus says, “No man comes to the Father, except by me.” You cannot know the Father as a God of infinite blessedness except through the Son, who is the priest with the one valid sacrifice. It is a priestly benediction, sealed with sacrificial blood; and it can only be bestowed by the hand of our glorious Priest.

7. Next, this benediction is of the nature of intercession. There lies within these words a prayer. “The Lord bless you, and keep you” is the cry of the man of God to Jehovah, so that he would bless and keep his people. The priest’s office was to make intercession for the people, and we have in our Lord Jesus a high priest who pleads for evermore for his chosen. We have a high priest, through whom all who come to God will be accepted, “since he lives for ever to make intercession for them.” Never forget that “he made intercession for the transgressors.” He has, moreover, a special pleading for believers. Concerning them there is a particular exercise of intercession; for he says, “I pray for them: I do not pray for the world, but for those whom you have given to me.” The high priest had a particular office in reference to the seed of Israel, and our Lord makes special intercession for his saints. He is exercising that office now. How much we owe to his intercession no tongue can tell. Try to learn a little about it from these words, “Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have you, so that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for you, that your faith does not fail.” “I have prayed for you”: here is our safety. Believe, my brethren, that our Lord has prayed for us, is praying for us still. With his keen eye of love he has perceived our danger long before we have dreamed of it; and with his eloquent tongue of earnestness he has pleaded the causes of our soul at the throne of grace, before we were even aware of our peril. “Your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him”; and even so your heavenly High Priest perceives what you have need of, and asks for it long before you think of presenting such a petition. Blessed be the name of him who is the Advocate with the Father on our behalf!

   He ever lives to intercede
      Before his Father’s face:
   Give him, my soul, thy cause to plead,
      Nor doubt the Father’s grace.

8. But, next, this benediction is of an even higher order than intercession. Every man in the camp might have prayed — The Lord bless and keep his people, and lift up his countenance upon them. But no man in all the camp would have dared to say, in the same authoritative style as Aaron did: “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.” Here is not only faith pleading, but faith receiving and bestowing. “Without a doubt,” Paul says, “the less is blessed by the greater”; and so Aaron was greater than the people, being set apart to a high and honourable office, into which no one else might intrude. He was God’s representative, and so he spoke with the authority of his office. Today our Saviour’s intercession in the heavenly places rises far higher in power and glory than that of any ordinary intercessor. He blesses in fact, while the greatest saints on earth and in heaven can only bless in desire.

   With cries and tears he ofter’d up
      His humble suit below;
   But with authority he asks
      Enthroned in glory now.

This benediction wears the form of a fiat as well as of a prayer. The priest here speaks the blessing for which he asks. Turning to the Father, our Lord Jesus cries, “Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given to me.” Turning to us he says, “The Lord bless you, and keep you.” What he prays for from God he distributes among men, by an authority vested in him by the Father. “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” My heart delights to think of the Lord Jesus Christ at this hour, not as a Gethsemane pleader, with groans, and agony, and bloody sweat; but as one who has finished his work, and who now reigns in the glory of the Father, having all power in heaven and in earth. He sends the blessing to those to whom it comes. His prayer is so infinitely effective, that he practically gives the blessing himself. Has he not said, “If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it?”

9. Notice, in the next place, that this blessing is certain. Aaron did not bless the people of his own will; he did not utter good words of his own composing; but there went out a divine power which made the form of blessing to be a blessing indeed.

10. There was power in the priestly benediction. First, because Aaron was appointed by God himself to bless the people, and when he pronounced the benediction over the assembled multitude it was not Aaron’s blessing, but the blessing of Jehovah, who had sent him. The God who set him apart to bless the people in the divine name was, by that very act and deed, engaged to make good his servant’s words. Even so our blessed High Priest did not take this office upon himself, but he was called to it; and his call is abundantly certified, “For him God the Father has sealed.” What our Lord says must stand, for he is commissioned by the Father; and anointed by the Spirit, as the ambassador of peace. God is in Christ Jesus, and the Godhead stands behind every word of mercy, every syllable of blessing which is uttered by the ever-blessed Son. I delight to think of my Lord as no amateur intercessor, taking up a work on his own responsibility without heavenly sanction; but he was appointed before all worlds to bless us, and God will confirm every benediction which his Son pronounces upon us.

11. But there is another reason for being certain that the benediction is sure to all the seed. Not only was the person chosen to bless the people, but the very words which he should use were put into his mouth. “In this way you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them.” Here we have a fixed form of benediction, to which Aaron was to restrict himself. Forms of prayer are not sinful in themselves: in some cases, forms are given in the Word of God, as in the Book of Psalms, and elsewhere. Free prayer is most useful, and it will ordinarily consort best with the movements of the free Spirit; but in the case of a benediction, it is good that it was dictated to the man of God. The children of Israel might miss blessing through the ignorance, or forgetfulness, or unbelief of Aaron; and therefore it was not left to him; but he had to learn by heart each word and sentence. In this way, and in no other, was he to bless the people. I like this; for if God himself puts the very words into the mouth of his priest, then they are God’s words. God himself arranged the three wonderful stanzas of blessing, and commanded Aaron to say so much, and no more. Not according to his own mind, or wish, or tenderness, or narrowness, does Aaron bless; but according to God’s own mind must the fixed and predetermined benediction be given out. Blessed be the name of God; so the benediction is assured to us, for the words are his own. Even so the Lord has put into the Saviour’s mouth the words of blessing for us. Jesus said, “I do not speak my own words, but the words of him who sent me.” Every glorious proclamation of grace from the mouth of our Lord Jesus is a word given to him by the great God himself. How our souls delight in this! I have heard people talk about the limitation of Christ’s nature while he was here; and I fear their next step will be Socinianism. {a} Beloved, every word that our Lord Jesus uttered was infallible. He fell into no errors of any kind. If he did err and you find it out, it is clear that you know more than your Master; and that sounds very much like blasphemy. Christ is the wisdom of God, and the power of God; in the wisdom of God there can be no mistake, and in the power of God not one word shall fall to the ground. Therefore, beloved, concerning this blessing, and every other that you find in God’s Word, be certain that it is true. Rest in quiet assurance; for if God himself has appointed the priest to bless, and has given the very words which he is to utter, the Lord would compromise his own honour and glory if he were to renege on it. God himself in Christ Jesus declares that he will bless his people: yes, and they shall be blessed!

12. While dwelling on the form of this benediction, observe that it was to be continued. It was not dependent on the life of one man; for Moses was to speak to Aaron “and to his sons.” Aaron could not continue for ever by reason of death: in due time he must be stripped of his official garments, and die, like the rest of men; but then his son came in his place, and the perpetual oblation and benediction were maintained. The blessing was not to cease from generation to generation. This was always to be one of the glorious offices of the high priest, that he should bless the people. Here I would dwell with pleasure upon my subject: the blessing of the Lord our God was upon his ancient people; but it is also upon us on whom the ends of the world are come. That blessing fell upon us in the beginning, when we were converted; and it has never ceased. The blessing of the Lord falls on us now as a refreshing dew, or as the golden rain when the grain is growing. The saints are for ever the blessed of the Lord. He blesses us today. There was a day when you felt very near to the Lord your God, and you remember the Hermons and the Hill Mizars with regretful fondness. You enjoyed the divine blessing more that day than perhaps you do this morning; but, in very truth, the blessing is always the same. The sun’s light is always the same, only our mists and fogs come in to hide its face. Our great Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, always shines with fulness of favour upon his people; but our doubts and fears, our worldliness and sin, come in like mists and hide his brightness. God towards his people is of one mind, and who can turn him? He blesses for ever: he curses never. You can never say of the Lord that, towards his chosen, “out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.” No bitter waters are intermixed with the sweet streams of his grace.

13. I would add that this blessing came frequently. We do not know how often Aaron uttered this blessing upon the people. In this passage it is left without any determination as for times and seasons. It is something like our Saviour’s Memorial Feast: we are nowhere told when and how often we are to celebrate the Supper of the Lord. Although it seems to me to have been the practice in apostolic times to break bread on the first day of the week, there is no law laid down. It is put like this: “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” So Aaron is not told that on such a day, and at such an hour, he shall bless the people; but he may do as his heart dictates. On the day of atonement, when the high priest came out from the secret place, he put on his robes of beauty, and blessed the people. I do not find that he was commanded to do so every day; but the Jews say that Aaron always blessed the people after the offering of the morning sacrifice, when the lamb had been slain and consumed upon the altar. This was not repeated in the evening. Of this we know nothing beyond the tradition; and I mention it mainly because the older divines were accustomed to say that Aaron gave a blessing in the morning, that is, in the first part of time, for then the ceremonial law stood; but that he can give no blessing in the evening; for now Christ himself has come in the end of days, and we have no need of a blessing from the Aaronic priesthood, since the great Melchizedek has come. There may be something in that tradition, and there may be nothing; but this I know, that Aaron often blessed the people, and this is to my mind full of comfort. The Lord Jesus is still ready to bless us. Do you have few blessings? You limit them yourselves. You are not constrained in him; you are constrained in your own hearts. There is for you a blessing every morning: seek it when you wake up. There is for you a blessing every evening: do not rest until you feel it. There is a blessing for you at midnight, when you keep the watches wearily; and there is a blessing for you at midday, when you bear the noontide heat of care and toil. “Your blessing is upon your people”: that is to say, it is always upon them. Our great High Priest does not now and then bless the people; but from his lips grace distils as dew, and drops as rain, without ceasing. Our Lord is always blessing, and we are always blessed. Oh, for grace to know this, and to glorify the God of our blessings!

14. II. We will now consider THE BLESSING ITSELF. Oh, for renewed help from the Holy Spirit!

15. Notice, carefully, that this benediction passes from the priest to God. It is not, “I, Aaron, ordained by God, bless you, and like a shepherd I will keep you, and smile upon you, and give you peace.” Oh, no! the blessing falls from Aaron’s lips, but it comes originally from the Lord’s heart and hand. It runs like this: “The Lord bless you, and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you: the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Every blessing must come directly from God. What an honour was put on Aaron, to be made the mouthpiece of God! What an honour is put upon the preacher when he becomes the instrument, in God’s hand, for cheering his people! What an honour is put upon you when, in talking with your children, or with your friends, you are privileged to be as a golden conduit-pipe, through which the holy oil of salvation flows to them! Please, seek much of this honour. Put yourselves in God’s way, so that you may be vessels for his use. Ask him to give you grace to seize upon every opportunity to speak what he would have you say. But, please, never rest in the blessing of a man. Indeed, if you were sure that such a man were sent by God, and he should, with all earnestness, invoke the best blessing upon you, do not be content with the man, but press on to the Master. Seek to have blessing first-hand from heaven. Covet a good man’s blessing, and count it a treasure; but value it only because God speaks through the man.

16. This fact makes the blessing extremely precious. “THE LORD bless you” What a blessing the Lord gives! Have we not heard a mother say to her little child, “Bless you?” What a wealth of meaning she threw into it! But when God says, “Bless you!” there are infinity and immutability in it. There can be no limit to the goodwill of the infinite God. Our gifts are like a handful of pence. God’s gifts are so rich that I dare not compare them even to silver or gold. When Jehovah blesses, it is according to the manner of his sovereign Almightiness. His benediction sheds joy and glory over our entire manhood. “The Lord bless you” — what an ocean of blessedness is in it! “And keep you” — what safe keeping is that! “The Lord make his face to shine upon you” — what a shine is that! “And be gracious to you” — what grace is that! — the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. “The Lord lift up his countenance upon you” — oh, to be countenanced by God! what fellowship that means! “And give you peace.” What a peace God gives — the peace of God which surpasses all understanding!

17. It behoves us to interpret the words of our text in the largest possible manner, and to look upon them as being not only waters up to the knees, but waters to swim in. Here we may cry, “Oh, the depth!” The Lord blesses his people “according to the riches of his glory by Christ Jesus.” Do you know what his riches are? Can you measure the estate of God? Can you imagine what the riches of his grace must be? Here you have the riches of his glory; yes, and the greatest riches of his glory, by Christ Jesus. The Lord blesses you according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus; and what more can there be? Dwell on that; I say no more.

18. I call your special attention, in looking over this benediction, to the fact that the name of THE LORD, or Jehovah, is mentioned three times. “Jehovah bless you, and keep you: Jehovah make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: Jehovah lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” It is the remark of scholars, that each one of these names has different vowel points in the original Hebrew. I will not say that this teaches the doctrine of the Trinity; but I must say that, believing the doctrine of the Trinity, I understand the passage all the better. The shadow of the Triune God is on the sacred benediction in the name repeated three times. Yet the Lord is only one, for he says: “I will bless you.” Here we hear the voice of One, yet Three. We sang, this morning, a hymn beginning, “Holy, holy, holy”; for the heavenly worshippers greet the divine Majesty like this. They cry, “Holy, holy, holy,” three times. Why not twice? Why not four times? Why not seven times? For this last, there might be a reason, since seven is the number of perfection. Triune expressions are most frequent in Holy Scripture; and what can this mean, but that the Lord who is one God for ever and ever, is also threefold in his existence and manifestation? We are to speak of him as “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”; and we may pronounce the blessing upon the people in the name of Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, still knowing that there is only one who has solemnly said at the close of the blessing, “They shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” Let the sacredness of that name, and its being mentioned in this way, confirm you in the belief of the inscrutable mystery of the Three-In-One. What is this benediction now before us but an early form of the benediction used universally in the church of Jesus Christ in all ages? “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.”

19. Taking the three sentences in the light now cast upon them the first sentence, “The Lord bless you and keep you,” may be regarded as the benediction of the Father. It is the preservation of love. It is God who has kept you from falling so far. We are “kept by the power of God through faith to salvation.” “He will keep the feet of his saints.” “He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” To the Father’s tender care I would, at this hour, commend each one of you: “The Lord bless you and keep you.” May he do this when you are in great temptation, so that you do not yield! May he keep you from your own evil heart of unbelief, so that you do not turn aside! Contending with a sinful world, may he keep you from its snares! Marching through a region full of seductions to error, may he keep you from renouncing the truth, even as he keeps his own elect! The Lord bless you with all good, and keep you from all evil! They are well kept whom God keeps, and none are kept besides. There is no keeping like divine keeping. He says: “I will be a wall of fire all around them”; and again, “He kept him as the apple of his eye”; and again, “I the Lord keep it; I will water it every moment: lest anyone harms it, I will keep it night and day.” “The Lord is your keeper.” “The Lord shall preserve you from all evil: he shall preserve your soul.” We pray, “Do not lead us into temptation; but deliver us from evil,” and the prayer is directed to “Our Father in heaven.” I think you will find a depth of meaning in this first line of the holy hymn of blessing, if you regard it as the benediction of the Father. Do not so regard it exclusively, for there is no clear line of demarcation; each of the three stanzas melts into the other two, and the blessing is still one.

20. The next clause is the benediction of the Son, or the joy of grace: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” “The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you”: this means the favour of God; may it be given to each one of you! You know where God’s face is: we read of “The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” He who has seen Jesus has seen the Father. When our Lord smiles on us, we see the face of God — that face not veiled with frowns, but bright with smiles: a face full of love and favour, a face which was once turned away, but is now turned towards us in peace. “The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.” Dearly beloved, is there any grace conceivable like the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? and is there any light conceivable like the shining of the love of God? A few moments ago the fog surrounded this place, and we seemed as if we were descending into pitch darkness; but, in an instant, light poured in through those windows, and there was an immediate change; and now the sun is shining upon us — a thing to be noted in this rarely sunlit land. In this I see a symbol of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We come upon a period of gloom and deep depression, and midnight lowers upon our day; and then a breath of the heavenly wind chases away the fog, and the Sun of Righteousness rises, and the scene is changed. Let us have the favour of God, and all our troubles are less than nothing.

   In darkest shades if he appear,
   My dawning is begun.

May we always walk in the light, as God is in the light; but that must be through the shining of his face. Through Jesus Christ we may enjoy an eternal sunshine. Even in heaven, “The Lamb is its light.” There is no light for us except through Jesus Christ. May the Lord Jesus be gracious to you! He is full of grace. To you who are in trouble today, may he be gracious with his consolations. To you who are fighting for him, may he be gracious in covering your head in the day of battle. To you who labour, may he put underneath you the everlasting arms of grace; and so may you have grace upon grace, and all the graces that you need until you enter into glory. Surely this second benediction is as full as it is brief. It is a box where all sweets compacted lie. Given the love of God the Father, and the grace of God the Son, our bliss runs high.

21. The third blessing is surely that of the Holy Spirit. “The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Here is the fellowship of peace. For God’s face to shine is one thing, and a very precious thing; but for God to lift up his countenance upon us, is still a far richer blessing. To feel that God is dealing graciously with me, and shining upon me, is very delightful; but to know that he countenances me, that he supports me in my acts, and is in fellowship with me — this is best of all. Oh, to think that, looking upon me, the Lord says, “Yes, my child, you are doing right; I countenance you in what you are doing.” This is joy. Every servant has seen her mistress’s face fall; but she is glad when the same face is lifted up upon her, because she has done well, and has given pleasure. I do pray that the Holy Spirit may countenance all of you who work for the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that you may say, “I have the countenance of God. No one applauds me: I am obscure. Many criticize me, and say that I am mistaken: others object and abuse. But, Lord, lift up the light of your countenance upon me, and it will more than suffice.” To be countenanced by God is better than being commended by princes. Then follow the words, “And give you peace”: for when a man knows that God countenances him, then he enters into peace. Why should he fret when God smiles? What does it matter though all the world should censure, if Jehovah countenances his servant. A look of approval from God creates a deep, delightful calm within the soul. Brothers, may the Holy Comforter work this peace in you all!

22. But now, very briefly, notice that this benediction is all along in the singular. It is not, “The Lord bless you, and keep you”; but, “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.” Why? Because the people of God are one, and he views them as one; and so the blessing comes upon the entire church as a whole. But, next, I think it is that every individual believer may take this entire benediction home for himself. The high priest seems to say, not — “The Lord bless Ephraim and Manasseh, Judah and Benjamin”; but, as if he singled out each one of the assembly, he says, “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.” Dear brethren, I will not call you out by name, but I would say to each brother, “The Lord bless thee.” I cannot, my sisters, name you in public, though you serve the Lord so well; but I will speak to you individually, and say, “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; and make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious to thee; and countenance thee, and give thee peace.” The blessing is meant for the appropriation of each one. While it embraces the whole church in one word, it yet distributes a full portion to each individual. Each one of us may take this entire great benediction for himself.

23. III. I might have said more upon this Old Testament benediction; but time fails me, and so I must conclude, by a word or two, in the third place, upon THE DIVINE AMEN. The divine Amen is in the last verse: “And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” Only two or three words will suffice.

24. Here is the authority repeated, by way of confirmation of what has been said: “They shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” The priest does his part, and then the Lord makes the blessing effective. Christ is authorized by God to put the name of God upon his people. It is a delightful thing for the Lord to call us by our own name, as it is written, “I have called you by your name, you are mine.” It is even more soul-enriching to have the divine name put upon us, so as to be called sons of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Herein is condescension on God’s part, and honour and security for us. When the Lord’s name is named upon anything, he will guard his own dedicated things. The name of the Lord is a strong tower, and within it we are safe.

25. I think I see here a confirmation of those blessings which are pronounced by good men. “They shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” I loved to have my grandfather’s blessing, when I was preaching the Word in my early days. He has now gone into glory; but he blessed me, and no one can take away the name of God from me. Most of you will remember the blessings of good men who are now gone to glory; and God confirms those blessings. He allows his people, whom he has made priests and kings to God, to put his name upon others, and to pronounce blessings upon them. Their word shall stand, and what they bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. The blessing of your father and of your mother shall come upon you. The blessing of the angels of the churches, whom the Lord holds as stars in his right hand, shall fall on faithful believers and helpers as a dew from the Lord himself.

26. And then comes, best of all, the blessing of our God most surely promised: “And I will bless them.” I will not attempt to preach from that little, great text — “I will bless them.” I could enlarge upon it by the month. “I will bless them”: they shall have their troubles; but I will bless them through their troubles. When they have earthly goods, I will bless them and make them real comforts. I will bless their basket and their harvest. If those earthly comforts are taken away, I will give them compensation a thousandfold in myself. I, who gave the mercies, will allow no one but myself to take them away; and this shall only be done in love, so that I may bless them even more. Brethren, the world may curse us; but if God blesses us, the curse will be as the whistling wind. Friends may become enemies, or may forget us; but, if God blesses us, we can bear the wound. God blessed us when we were young, he kept us in the giddy paths of youth; he blessed us in our hale manhood, and helped us when our family cares were upon us; and he will still sustain us now that we lean heavily on the staff, and find the grasshopper to be a burden. He will bless us when sickness lays us low; and when we come to die Jesus will bless us with dying grace for dying moments, and give us our best things last. We shall wake up in the likeness of Christ, and then we shall be satisfied with his blessing, being transformed into the image of him by whom the blessing comes. The judgment day shall dawn, the earth shall pass away, but the Lord will bless us. God’s “will” has an eternal range. When God says, “I will,” all the demons in hell cannot turn aside the blessing, and all the ages of eternity cannot change the King’s word. “I will bless them.” How much he will bless them he does not say; but the great I who makes the promise blesses like a God. God himself will bless his people, directly, and personally. “I will bless them.” Here is absolute certainty based on the faithfulness of the Lord: here is endless mercy certified by the divine eternity and immutability. Do you whisper, “But the Lord sends us trials?” I answer, “It is true. What son is he whom the father does not chasten?” But in this is a covenant blessing; for every twig of the rod shall produce for them the comforting fruits of righteousness before many days are past. You do not need that I should say another word. Go home with this celestial music in your ears, “I will bless them.”

27. This blessed assurance does not belong to you all indiscriminately. We have no blessing for those who are not believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh sinners, may God make you conscious that you are outside of the blessing; and may that terrible fact create in you an aching heart, and a longing soul, which nothing can ever satisfy except the blessing of the Lord God.

28. You who are resting in Jesus, hear these words, which I have read to you from the inspired Book, and may the Holy Spirit write them on your minds. Thus says Jehovah concerning his people, “I will bless them.” The Lord has caused his servants to bless us by the testimony of the gospel, and now he himself blesses us by his Spirit. He himself will bring his precious things to our door. He himself will feast us at his table, yes, he himself will become our food, our bread, and our water. Come, let us bless the Lord. Since he has so blessed us, let us heartily bless him. We will wind up our meditation by singing —

   Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
   Praise him all creatures here below;
   Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
   Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!
[Portions Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Ps 80 Nu 6:22-27]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Adorable Trinity in Unity, Doxology to the Trinity” 152}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — Holy, Holy, Holy” 190}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, His Praise — ‘He Is Our Peace’ ” 433}


{a} Socinianism: A sect founded by Laelius and Faustus Socinus, two Italian theologians of the 16th century, who denied the divinity of Christ. OED.

The Sword And The Trowel. Edited by C. H. Spurgeon.
Contents for November, 1890.
Sermon in Candles. By C. H. Spurgeon.
Ich Dien.
“The Work of an Evangelist.”
Nettleton Anecdotes. Sixth Selection.
On Meeting the Demands of the Age.
A New Way of Folding Sheep.
The Lift, an Illustration of Faith.
Steve Holcombe, the Converted Gambler.
My Visit to the Bank of England.
Speak a Word.
A Happy Scene in a Storm. By C. H. Spurgeon.
Too Soft.
Pastoral Work at Southgate.
Homily on Clothes.
Scientific Religion.
Prayer, Providence, and Perseverance.
How are they Fed?
Mr. William Olney.
Notices of Books.
Notes.
Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle.
Pastors’ College Missionary Association.
Stockwell Orphanage.
Colportage Association.
Society of Evangelists.

Price 3d. Post free, 4 Stamps.
Passmore & Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


The Adorable Trinity in Unity, Doxologies to the Trinity
152
1 Bless’d be the Father, and his love,
   To whose celestial source we owe
   Rivers of endless joy above,
   And rills of comfort here below.
2 Glory to thee, great Son of God!
   From whose dear wounded body rolls
   A precious stream of vital blood,
   Pardon and life for dying souls.
3 We give thee, sacred Spirit, praise,
   Who in our hearts of sin and woe
   Makes living springs of grace arise,
   And into boundless glory flow.
4 Thus God the Father, God the Son,
   And God the Spirit, we adore;
   That sea of life and love unknown,
   Without a bottom or a shore.
                     Isaac Watts, 1709.


God the Father, Attributes of God
190 — Holy, Holy, Holy <7s.>
1 Holy, holy, holy, Lord!
   Be thy glorious name adored:
   Lord, thy mercies never fail;
   Hail, celestial Goodness, hail!
2 Though unworthy, Lord, thine ear,
   Deign our humble songs to hear;
   Purer praise we hope to bring,
   When around thy throne we sing.
3 There no tongue shall silent be,
   All shall join in harmony;
   That through heaven’s capacious round
   Praise to thee may ever sound.
4 Lord, thy mercies never fail:
   Hail, celestial Goodness, hail!
   Holy, holy, holy, Lord!
   Be thy glorious name adored.
            Benjamin Williams, 1778, a.


Jesus Christ, His Praise
433 — “He Is Our Peace”
1 Dearest of all the names above,
      My Jesus and my God,
   Who can resist thy heavenly love,
      Or trifle with thy blood!
2 ‘Tis by the merits of thy death
      The Father smiles again;
   ‘Tis by thine interceding breath
      The Spirit dwells with men.
3 Till God in human flesh I see,
      My thoughts no comfort find;
   The holy, just, and sacred three
      Are terrors to my mind.
4 But if Immanuel’s face appear,
      My hope, my joy begins;
   His name forbids my slavish fear,
      His grace removes my sins.
5 While Jews on their own law rely,
      And Greeks of wisdom boast,
   I love th’ incarnate mystery,
      And there I fix my trust.
                           Isaac Watts, 1709.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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