Psalm 67.1-2 says,

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.”

Is the writer asking for blessing for God’s people selfishly? I think not. He gives the reason “that Your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” He is essentially asking God for blessing so that others might notice the blessed and return glory to the Blesser.

This particular invocation echoes the priestly blessing in Numbers 6.24-26:

“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.”

The idea of blessing – of receiving prescribed favor – from the hand of the Lord is an indescribably good feeling. It lifts the hearts and eyes of people off their present situation and implants a holy possibility within them. It makes a rebel pause with wonder, “If only that blessing could be real…”

The priests in Numbers had the authority of God behind the blessing.

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘Thus shall you bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them…'” (v22-23)

I recently heard of a campus ministry in the northeast who set up a “Blessing Booth” at a local event that celebrated wicca. They dressed as monks and offered a blessing and prayer for those in attendance at the event who stopped by their booth. Many thought it was a joke, but those that stopped and inquired and agreed to be blessed were then prayed for passionately and lovingly. A deep, fervent desire for that person to truly know and experience the love of God was prayed over their life.

Whether you agree with this ministry methodology or not, the greatest way that any person can be blessed is by knowing Jesus Christ as God and Lord of their life. By desiring that another person be truly blessed, you should desire that they fall truly in love with God through Jesus Christ.

The idea of blessing others is not asking for God’s favor in disregard of a person’s sinfulness. Rather, it’s in spite of a person’s sinfulness. It magnifies the love and grace of the Father. In such a way, the desired result is that by drowning a person in unmerited love and favor, they may learn to swim in faith.

So next time you are asking for God to bless you, remember that He delights to do so. Ultimately, His blessing comes so that others will regard the blessed and praise the Blesser. And when we pray that others might experience blessing, there is no higher blessing than loving and being loved by the One True God as revealed in Jesus Christ.

On this day...