"The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say 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.
“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
- Numbers 6:22-27
What do you say when your friend or loved one goes out the door to that job interview? How do you encourage your child as they leave for their big game or college entrance exam? Or what are your reassuring words before your spouse goes up to the platform to perform? Could it be, "Good Luck"?, "Knock them dead?", "Break a leg?" or "You go girl"? These may be good "pumps", but no power.
The word "benediction" comes from the Latin bene and dicere, which together means "good saying". The passage above is the oldest benediction found in the Bible, referred to as the “Priestly” or “Aaronic” Benediction. It calls for the Lord's protection, presence, provision, and peace to be upon His people. These are words that do more than "pump"... they are all power.
The challenge for believers is to be more thoughtful in our "benedictions". The Pastor blesses his congregation and we see that as appropriate. But, do you ever consider blessing your loved ones, friends or family as they begin the day, leave for a trip or face a new challenge? Why not say a little more than "Good luck" and give a "Good saying" that calls for the Lord's protection, presence, provision, and peace? Bless them with words of power.