Smile at each other. Now frown at each other. How does seeing a smile make you feel? How does seeing a frown make you feel?
In the Old Testament there’s a very important word that is repeated over and over again – bless.
To “bless” means to do good, or to make happy. It means to be kind to someone and to honor them. In the Bible people bless each other all the time. Parents bless their children by being good to them and by taking care of them and giving them things. Have your parents blessed you? How?
In the book of Genesis, we also see God blessing people too. God blessed Adam and Eve. He blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do you remember the story of Jacob wrestling with God? Jacob wouldn’t let go of God until he blessed him. Being blessed is often connected to the bigger idea of the covenant. Do you remember what a covenant is? When God makes promises to a person and they make promises back to God, that’s called “making a covenant.”
At Mount Sinai God made a covenant with his people the Hebrews. He made promises to them that he would be their God and they would be his people. In other words, he blessed them. He was good to them and took care of them. He was kind to them and gave them what they needed. God blessed them by being WITH them.
In the book of Numbers, God spoke his blessing over the people. This is a blessing that is still spoken by the Hebrew (now called Jewish) people to this day. Listen to God’s blessing:
Numbers 6:24-26. The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
This beautiful blessing by God is important for two reasons.
First, it shows us that most of all God wants us to be happy. God is good, not bad. God is kind, not mean. God is for us, not against us. God wants to give us even what we don’t deserve – he is “gracious.”
And second, this blessing shows us that God himself is God’s greatest blessing. Read the blessing again. What is God promising to give to his people? His “face,” and his “countenance” (which is the same exact word as “face”).
What does it mean that God gives us his “face.”
Can you think of a time that you were scared, but then maybe your mom or dad walked in the room and you saw their smiling face and it made you feel better? Or maybe you thought they were mad at you, but then they smiled and you knew everything would be alright?
God blessing us with his own face means that God is always with us, and that he is always smiling at us, letting us know that everything is going to be alright. And when we know God is with us and that he is happy and wants us to be happy, we have “peace.”
But it can be hard to think about God’s face when he is invisible and no one has ever really seen God’s face. But in Jesus the world got to see the face of God. Jesus is God’s greatest blessing to us. Jesus is God with us. Jesus is God’s smile, letting us know that he’s not mad at us, and that everything is going to be alright. When we think about Jesus, and his love for us, and his dying for our sins on the cross, we are seeing the face of God. We are receiving the blessing of God.
Because of Jesus I know that God is always smiling at me and blessing me.
With Jesus I can be a blessing to others by doing good.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
God “shines his face at us.” He smiles at us. Practice smiling at each other. Talk about how important our facial expressions are. If we want to bless others it might start with a simple smile.
Talk about how you can be a blessing to others. Is there something good you can do for someone today? (pair this with yesterday’s blog about “love your neighbor.”)
Here’s a song for today’s background music (don’t forget to remind your kids that God’s blessing and “face” are Jesus himself – something the song leaves out, but you can add back in).
You are God’s greatest blessing to me. Help me be a great blessing to others, helping others and smiling at others just like God does.
To see today’s post from the TLIC Daily blog –> Click Here