The Doctrine of Grace and Peace in the Bible

Christian Life: Grace and Peace

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.

—Numbers 6:22–27

While the Lord blesses the Nazirites for making a special vow (vv. 1–21), all receive the priestly blessing of this passage, for the Lord blesses “the people of Israel” through “Aaron and his
sons” (v. 23).

The blessing includes three promises. First, the Lord will “bless you and keep you” (v. 24); he will provide his people with everything they need as they enter the land, particularly his presence. He will go before them in battle and keep them safe. Second, the Lord will “make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you” (v. 25). God’s very face will shine for their benefit and joy because of his steadfast love (Zeph. 3:17). Finally, the Lord will “lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Num. 6:26). This sign of good favor shows that God remembers his people. The last piece of the blessing is peace, shalom, which is not just a cessation of warfare but also a renewal—from brokenness to wholeness.

The generation of Israelites heading into the Promised Land can know with certainty that their covenant-keeping God will carry them through the battles and trials to come. They can trust that he will establish them in the Promised Land and give them peace.

Theology for Life

When we hear a benediction in church, we often give it little attention, but it is God’s good words for us as he looks on us with joy and love and grants us grace and peace.

For more on God’s grace see:

  • Lam. 3:22–23
  • 2 Cor. 12:9–10
  • 2 Tim. 1:8–10

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