When God Looks with Favor
May Yahweh look with favor on you and give you peace
Numbers 6:26 CVS
I’m enjoying this season of life as a grandmother. I, and others like me, especially ‘look with favor’ into the smiles and twinkly eyes of the little ones we love so much. Their youthfulness seems particularly vulnerable to all the potential snares and dangers that lie ahead of them. I’m paying attention in a different way than I did as a young parent. I look with an expanded heart that’s grown wiser and, hopefully, more compassionate through the years.
The benediction found in Numbers 6 asks God to be attentive to the children of Israel, noting and providing for their every need. Then just as a well fed and swaddled child drops off to sleep, they too will know peace since full bellies and safety offer a recipe for contentment. The Hebrew language, though, indicates even more depth to the word favor: well-being or peace, a state of wholeness for every aspect of life. What a rich blessing indeed!
Images of the Israelites’ God as a celestial task master fade with this benediction. God is not the domineering Pharaoh lording it over the Hebrew slaves but their Father, their creator, their all-in-all. In addition, He wants those He’s placed in leadership to know how to ask for all He has for those He loves. The same is true for us today. God’s favor and peace is available for those who ask. By asking, we acknowledge its source. When it arrives, we then have an opportunity to worship and express our thankfulness to the One who has ‘looked with favor upon us’ and provided that well-fed and swaddled peace we sought.
Thank you Father that we can come to You as vulnerable children and express our deepest needs. Thank You for reminding us to seek Your favor first before seeking what the world has to offer as a substitute for peace.