“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.”
I have heard the blessing stated in these verses on numerous occasions within church services. But today it is a phrase in the line following that captures my attention: “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel.”
This locks in the association of the LORD – Creator God, the Most High, the Almighty, a God merciful and gracious, the I AM – with these people. Declaring that they are His. A link connecting His character and renown with His faithfulness to these upon whom He has set His very name, His defining element.
In the New Testament, which begins with the establishing of the new covenant initiated with Christ’s blood sacrificially given (Matthew 26:27-28), this same connection is seen in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit seals us as God’s. The giving of the Spirit to those who believe in Christ is the placing of God’s name upon us. It is the declaration that we are His and He will keep us forever.
God puts His name upon us, and in doing so He blesses us forever with His presence and faithfulness. Not because someone spoke certain words over us. But because Jesus Christ drew us to Himself through the cross and we responded in faith and surrender.
Believer, may your heart resound with praise today. For the Lord of heaven and earth has set His name upon you and He has etched your name on His hands. Forever linking your name with His, connecting His unchanging character with His steadfast faithfulness to you. You will see it. Even in the dark it holds fast, and all who wait for Him will not be put to shame – because He will come through.
“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
and name himself by the name of Israel.”
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers…the covenant that they broke…But this is the covenant that I will make with [them] after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
“I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.”
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’”
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
“In [Christ] you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,
to the praise of his glory.”
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
1 Peter 2:9-10