And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee;
The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put My Name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them
- Numbers 6:22-27
How were Jesus' words to His disciples, when parting from them to ascend into heaven, similar to God's words to His people when they depart from His house?
over the congregation when pronouncing the blessing. This practice, at the close of the service, relates back to the Old Testament tabernacle and temple worship in which the priest came out to bless the congregation after he had finished his work. It is also reflected in the closing blessings of all the New Testament epistles written to, and frequently read in, the worship services of the various churches (e.g., Romans 15:13, II Corinthians 13:14, and Hebrews 13:20-21).
The most frequently used benedictions are:
The Aaronic blessing -
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make His face shine upon thee,
And be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee,
And give thee peace. Amen.
- Numbers 6:24-26
The apostolic blessing -
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
And the love of God,
And the communion of the Holy Ghost
Be with you all. Amen.
- II Corinthians 13:14
While receiving the closing benediction, we are to be conscious in a worshipful manner of the following wonderful truths. God's benediction is:
A parting word of "not parting" - God speaks to His church a final word as they leave His house of worship, but His word to them is that He will accompany them - His face will shine upon them, His countenance shall be upon them, and the communion of His Spirit shall be with them.