20190615 Parsha Nasso – Sermon – Six Ways to Make God Smile!
What Brings a Smile unto God Text: Numbers 6: 22-27
Our Torah Portion today is really long. It starts at Numbers 4:21 and ends at 7:89. There are several interesting subjects in these passages of scripture. It begins describing a census and duties of the other two Levitical clans, Merari and Gershon.
Then in chapter 5 is one of the strangest rituals in all the Bible. This passage speaks about the steps taken when a wife is accused by her husband of infidelity, or even when he is only suspicious of her. There is an entire tractate in the Talmud regarding this ritual of going to the priest and have the woman drink water mingled with dust from the tabernacle floor. If she is guilty, she dies and if not, there are no ill effects. Except that the marriage is forever damaged. Maybe that is why there is no official record of this ritual ever being carried out.
In Chapter six we read about the Nazarite vow along with all its restrictions and requirements. The two most famous Biblical characters who were Nazarites for life were Samson and John the Immerser. People today will sometimes speak of taking a Nazirite vow but that is not possible since it required animal sacrifice and there is no temple so no opportunity for animal sacrifice or altar upon which to lay your hair that was shaved from your head.
Then finally, at the end of chapter we come to the Aaronic Benediction. You recognize this as our final piece of liturgy after every service.
Numbers 6:22-27 Again Adonai spoke to Moses saying, (23) “Speak to Aaron and to his sons saying: Thus you are to bless Bnei-Yisrael, by saying to them: (24) ‘Adonai bless you and keep you! (25) Adonai make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you! (26) Adonai turn His face toward you and grant you shalom!’ (27) In this way they are to place My Name over Bnei-Yisrael, and so I will bless them.”
#1. Our obedience to communicate this blessing over our children brings pleasure and a smile unto God!
Every Erev Shabbat is a perfect opportunity to bless your children. It is exactly the same blessing that I say at the beginning of every service.
This passage records the benediction which God appointed for dismissing the people at the close of the daily service. The repetition of the name “Lord” or “Adonai” three times, expresses the great mystery of the Godhead–three persons, and yet one God. The expressions in the separate clauses correspond to the respective offices of the Father, to “bless and keep us”; of the Son, to be “gracious to us”; and of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, to “give us peace.” This blessed God because it was verbal communication between priest and members; between parents and their sons and daughters!
Notice vs. 27 “In this way they are to place My Name over Bnei-Yisrael, and so I will bless them.”
God said he would place His name over all the people of Israel. What does that mean? It means that Hashem is imparting His character, His morality, His very essence over Israel. So by placing His name on Israel, he is stamping us with His seal of approval.
#2. God smiles when we love Him supremely!
Genesis 6:5-8 Then Adonai saw that the wickedness of humankind was great on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil all the time. (6) So Adonai regretted that He made humankind on the earth, and His heart was deeply pained. (7) So Adonai said, “I will wipe out humankind, whom I have created, from the face of the ground, from humankind to livestock, crawling things and the flying creatures of the sky, because I regret that I made them.” (8) But Noah found favor in Adonai’s eyes.
The Bible tells us that for his entire life, Noah consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with Him!
God wants a relationship with you! Hosea 6:6 For I delight in loyalty and not sacrifice, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
#3. God smiles when we trust Him completely!
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about events not yet seen, in holy fear prepared an ark for the safety of his household. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Noah had never seen rain and yet he trusted God, and for 120 years Noah built an ark! He had to withstand the ridicule of his neighbors for 120 years and yet he never waivered in his devotion and obedience to the Lord.
The Psalmist David tells us in:
Psalms 147:11 Adonai delights in those who revere Him, in those who trust in His lovingkindness.
Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
#4. God smiles when we obey Him wholeheartedly!
God didn’t say, “Build any ole boat!” No, He gave Noah detailed instructions as to the size, shape and materials of the ark. 450 ft. long, 75 ft. wide and 45 ft. tall. (I have read that the ark had the capacity exceeding that of 500 railroad stock cars.)
Genesis 6:22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.
If God tells you to build a boat; He doesn’t owe you any explanation!
James 2:24 You see that a man is proved righteous by works and not by faith alone.
The concept of works confuses a lot of people. Of course, works alone will not bring salvation. No, salvation can only be secured by belief and trust in the Messiah Yeshua. But it is the works that shows the world that you are a follower of the Messiah. It is what you do that bears witness to your faith.
Yeshua said in John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Why is obedience so pleasing to God? Because it proves you really love Him!
#5. God smiles when we praise and thank Him continually!
Doesn’t it feel good to you when someone gives you heart-felt praise?
Men, do you have a wife that is a great cook? Make sure she knows how much you appreciate her efforts in the kitchen and you won’t go hungry. Complement and encourage your children and they will excel.
Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Psalm 116: 17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
#6. God smiles when we use our abilities!
Before the flood, Noah used his abilities to the fullest in order to build the ark. And after the flood God gave Noah these simple instructions.
Genesis 9:1-3 God blessed Noah and his sons, and He said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the land. (2) The fear and terror of you will be on every wild animal, and on every flying creature of the sky, with everything that crawls on the ground and with all the fish of the sea—into your hand they are given. (3) Every crawling thing that is alive will be food for you, as are the green plants—I have now given you everything.
1. Be fruitful. Make sure that the work you do is productive and accounts for something. Busy work does not build a lasting legacy.
2. Multiply. Yeshua gave us some marching orders before he ascended. He said to go into all the earth and make disciples of all men.
3. Fill the land. Evangelism and fellowship are necessary to fill the land. Fellowship is the key. Make friends with the people of this congregation. Get together, support each other. That’s the way we build the kingdom.
Psalms 37:3 Trust in Adonai and do good. Dwell in the land, feed on faithfulness.
Do you believe that God made you for a purpose?
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Direct those who are rich in this present age not to be proud or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God—who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. (18) Direct them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous, sharing, (19) storing up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so they might take hold of the true life.
2 Corinthians 5:9 So whether at home or absent, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.
You want to see God smile?