Song: The Blessing
Artist: Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, and Elevation Worship
In the coming weeks, Hayden and I are excited to spend time breaking down
contemporary worship songs that have inspired us and filled us with hope. We have curated a
playlist on Spotify called - Songs of Hope. Each week, one of us will take the lead exploring a
song on that playlist. Hayden will start this week with one of our new favorites - “The Blessing”
written by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes and Elevation Worship. We pray these songs blanket you
with peace, overflow your hearts with praise, and become anthems of hope for you and your
family! – Brooke
When this song first released two weeks ago, it took the world of worship by storm. And when you look the lyrics and consider what they mean, it is obvious why this has occurred. Tonight, Brooke and I want to take some time and break the song down and discuss where it is based in the Bible, what it means, and what it says about us and about God.
There are a few places that this song pulls from in scripture. The verse of the song is almost directly pulled from the NIV translation of Numbers 6:24-26. Some context for this passage: most of this chapter is dedicated to God giving instruction for those that take the Nazarite Vow. In the last couple verses of this chapter, God is giving instruction to Moses for what Aaron should say to the Israelites to bless them.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26 NIV) There is a lot to unpack here. “The Lord bless you and keep you” (Numbers 6:24 NIV). There’s no hidden message here. God blesses His people. He blessed the Israelites throughout their history, and the Lord blesses us, thanks to the saving work of Jesus on the cross. The Lord keeps us means that He protects and sustains us. Anyone who has lived long enough to be able to read this knows that we aren’t ever promised to be completely protected from all physical, emotional, or psychological harm, but the Lord does promise that He will protect our spirits. Even in this, we aren’t exempt from facing spiritual attack. After all, we have an adversary “the devil, [who] prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8b) But the Lord promises that nothing can separate us from His love, a point very confidently stated by Paul in Romans 8:38-39.
“[The] Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you” (Numbers 6:25 NIV). The Lord’s face shining on us means that His favor is upon us. We have experienced His favor and His graciousness in the act of Jesus’ crucifixion. God, the Son, stepped down from His eternal throne, became a human, lived a sinless life, and WILLINGLY died for every single person. I have often heard grace defined as “getting what we don’t deserve”. With this definition in mind, it’s obvious that the Lord is gracious to us all.
“[The] Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:26 NIV). Here, again, the Lord is talking about turning His face toward His people. When you have a conversation, what is one way you know the person cares about you and is invested in you and wants to talk to you? They are looking at you and you have their undivided attention. People may think, “God has more important things to worry about than me. He is preoccupied by the homeless or the lost or the starving or the war-torn or many other groups of people that are seen as more deserving of His attention, but we must remember this: God is infinite. He can’t run out of His goodness or His love or His power to be completely invested in every person’s life the same amount. I (Hayden) like the end of this verse greatly. As I mentioned above, Jesus never promised that we would be without trials or hardships. In fact, He promised that things would be harder for us because we proclaim His name and follow Him. But He does promise us peace that is different than the peace of the world (John 14:27).
This is the simplest part of the song, but it is our response to the verse and the bridge later on. The chorus simply states, “Amen amen amen”. I like to think each one of these “amens” is referring to one of the verses of scripture mentioned in the passage. When God promises anything to us, our response should always be “yes and amen”. This is profoundly simple, but it is profoundly deep; don’t miss the power of this part of the song for how simple the lyrics are.
There are three unique sections to the bridge. The general premise of the bridge is declaring certain promises of God over the congregation, or whomever is listening to the song, in all aspects of their life. The first states, “May His favor be upon you and a thousand generations and your family and your children and their children and their children”. This part of the bridge reminds me of Exodus 20:5-6, where God says to Moses, “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Here, the favor of the Lord is declared over not only you and me, but our family and our children and their children and their children, implying that His favor never stop pouring out on His people.
The second part of the bridge states, “May His presence go before you and behind you and beside you, all around you and within you, He is with you, He is with you”. Here, the authors proclaim God’s omnipresence over us. After God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, He went before them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God went before them. He was also behind them, as He protected them from the Egyptians as His people fled Egypt. God is all around us, in everything. He is in every moment, at all times, and, most importantly, He is with us in every moment (Matthew 28:20).
The third part of the bridge is a continuation of the second part of the bridge. Here, the author states, “In the morning, in the evening, in your coming, and your going, in your weeping and rejoicing, He is for you, He is for you.” This section reminds me of the mentality Paul had when writing Philippians 4:10-13, and also the mindset behind the “Wesley Prayer”. God is not someone we praise during good times and ignore or blame during struggle, nor is He someone we ignore when things are good but cry out to for help when things go wrong. He is our God in all things, at all times. Whether morning or evening (so all day), whether coming or going (doing all things), whether weeping or rejoicing (no matter our circumstances), God is for you. He is for you and He loves you and He calls you His own. May we never forget this.
Prayer: Lord God, You are so loving. You love us so much that You have never stopped pursuing us. From the moment we rebelled as humanity, You began to work to restore us to right living with You. We thank You for Your favor and for Your grace that You have extended to us. Jesus, we thank You for the promise of peace and for the promise of Your presence with us. You lived the sinless life we couldn’t live. You went before us to lead the way back to You. Holy Spirit, continues to work in our hearts and our minds so we can better see the Father’s heart and will. Open our ears to hear the promises of God and our hearts to receive them. We thank You for Your presence with us at all times. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are worthy of Your name. You are worthy of all praise. May our offering be acceptable in Your sight. Amen.