noun: paradox; plural noun: paradoxes
1. a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
Here’s the “self-contradictory” truth of scripture:
(FOR THE SAINTS)
1 Arise, shine; For your light has come!
And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the LORD will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
(PART BUT SURELY NOT ALL OF THE PROMISED BLESSING)
3 The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60 is alive and quite radioactive, activating on earth in these very days.
While the world shakes in hopelessness and confusion, the redeemed of the Lord are called to higher ground, and the higher the ground the greater our stability in Him. And the greater the light of Christ is upon us.
Below my post is a profound post by Peter Robertson (on FB, from yesterday) that ought not get overlooked. In fact it ought to get studied and pondered and prayed into. The Ps 67 blessing in and of itself is profound in that it sits in OT scripture position, inviting and empowering every reader to pronounce a priestly blessing, while (seemingly another paradox) the Jewish scriptures emphasize the sacred and even exclusive position and authority of the Jewish priests and their functions. Wow.
The prophetic implication of Ps 67 speaking forward to readers (with ears to hear and hearts to respond) inviting any and all to be reciting a priestly blessing – is that our Lord intended this psalm for activation in days forward. Ps 67 has been waiting, if you will, for days and times when the apostle Peter’s and the apostle John’s written pronouncement of dual-mantle king/priest anointing upon the saints illuminates. Like our days. Makes total sense. Daniel (8:26, 9:24, 12:4), Isa 2:2, Jer 23:20 etc all project references to things sealed up for release, activation and/or understanding, later. It is becoming “later” quickly, in these days, right now. Sure some prophecies await the glorious feet of our Lord standing on the Mount of Olives, and after that. But some are for now.
Myself being taken by the Lord to study eschatological events and writings in Scripture, I admit the first time I heard the recently released “Blessing Song” I was sort of thinking “Hey, these are tough and serious biblically spoken-of days, and here’s yet more happy/smiley denial-of-Haggai-2-actuality Christian singing”. That was until I (thankfully!) quickly sensed the thick and rich presence of our Lord all over and through that song. And when has it been released and activated? Not only during the covid pandemic, but during the season between the crucifixion of our Lord and the Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit. These “just happen” to be those days.
It is His time to release this kind of empowering blessing upon His saints, for His purposes. Isa 60:1-2 again – darkness covers the earth and absolutely simultaneously the illumination and anointing from heaven shines upon the ones who hear the call to arise. His joy and His presence are our strength. Strength for trust, for great exploits. Thank You Lord for Your magnificent plans and perfect timing. Thank you Kari and Cody. And thank you Peter Robertson. Assyria comes down with tambourines.
PETER ROBERTSON’S POST FROM 5/21/2020
13 hrs ·
Today is the 27th day of the second month of the Biblical calendar and it is the 40th day of the counting period between the wave offerings of the grain harvest.
It was on this day of that count that Yeshua ascended from Bethany on the Mount of Olives to heaven, leaving His disciples standing there on the mountain staring up at the sky.
I think that it is very significant that the last thing that he did, before ascending, was to lift His hands and bless His disciples.
I used to think of it as a nice thing for him to do, but now I see this final act of blessing in a different light. I think it was an absolutely essential thing for him to do to prepare the way for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit, ten days later. Furthermore, though the text does not elaborate and is silent on the precise words that he spoke, I believe that he most likely invoked the priestly blessing over them found in the book of Numbers.
“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;”
“So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’”
So Yeshua’s final act on earth before ascending to Heaven was to bless His disciples and he did so as the great high priest, about to enter the Heavenly Holy of Holies.
It is possibly significant that for many centuries Psalm 67 has been recited each day of the counting period, between the Feast of the First Omer and the Feast of Weeks. I have tried to research this to determine the origins of this traditional Scripture reading, but have been unable to determine so.
Perhaps, it was in place during the first century and even farther back in time.
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, SELAH, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. SELAH! Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.”
This Psalm looks back to the promise of blessing over Abraham and his descendants, who were promised that they would be blessed by God in order to become a source of blessing to all the families of the earth. God would bless Abraham (and his posterity) in order to make them a blessing.
“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
“YHVH spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, “Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, ‘YHVH bless you and keep you; YHVH make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; YHVH lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.’”
So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.’”
Yeshua’s act of blessing his disciples is reminiscent of Aaron’s blessing the people on the eighth day of dedicating the tabernacle, just before entering the holy place and the subsequent manifestation of God’s glory.
“Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them; and he came down after sacrificing the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the offering of well-being. Moses and Aaron entered the tent of meeting, and then came out and blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people.”
In a similar manner, Yeshua blessed his disciples before entering the heavenly sanctuary and the subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He lifted his hands and blessed them and then ascended into Heaven as great high priest.
I have already mentioned the daily reading of Psalm 67, during this interim period, between First Omer and Firstfruits. This Psalm begins, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, SELAH, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.”
It is an inspired prayer that recalls the priestly blessing, so that God’s ways and his “yeshuah” (saving power) would be known among all nations.
I believe Yeshua blessed his disciples on the Mount of Olives on the occasion of His ascension, so that His ways would be known throughout the earth and His saving power among all nations (“goyim”).
He had just told them, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Now, interestingly and likely more than coincidentally, Kari Jobe and three others wrote a song at the very end of February, which she sang for the first time leading worship on March first. It is called “The Blessing” and is based on the priestly blessing of Numbers 6. During the intervening period since, while people all over the world have been in social isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, this song has gone totally viral (pun intended).
It has been recorded all over the world by a great many people, almost as the thematic hymn of this trying period, which has overlapped with the period of counting of the days between the wave offerings.
I did a quick search on YouTube only to find that I could not scroll to the end of the numbers of versions of this song that have been posted in this short season.
It almost as if something that has formerly been peripheral has now become central and in a sense restored to the Body of Messiah across the nations, the practice of blessing one another, with this divinely prescribed, specific blessing from Scripture.
The priestly blessing was intended in its original context for Israel, but Psalm 67 expands its impact to all the nations of the earth, and the apostle elsewhere told us that all the promises of God are yes and amen to us, in Messiah.
“For in him every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes.’ For this reason it is through him that we say the ‘Amen,’ to the glory of God.”
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.”
“In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
I am posting the lyrics of “The Blessing” below, in the comments thread of this post.
I have illustrated this post with some older and more recent photos of Bethany and the Mount of Olives and an artist’s depiction of what Bethany might have looked like in ancient times.
In conclusion, I proclaim over you, on this anniversary of Messiah Yeshua’s ascension, in his name, and as one of his representatives,
“Y’varekh’kha ADONAI v’yishmerekha.
(May ADONAI bless you and keep you.)
Ya’er ADONAI panav eleikha vichunekka.
(May ADONAI make his face shine on you and show you his favor.)
Yissa ADONAI panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom.
(May ADONAI lift up his face toward you and give you peace.)”