Hello, How are You?

Numbers 6:23-26

Jesus gathered with His bewildered followers on the eve of His execution for His last time with them. Confusion and fear held them in a firm grip as He spoke. Much of what He said is contained in John 14 – 17. In that hostile environment His talk was punctuated with such words as “joy” and “peace.”  He spoke often in various settings of His followers as being “blessed.” That is us.

Yet, much of our conduct and conversation gives the impression we have little joy, peace, and experience few blessings.  Listen the next time you speak to someone with such a simple greeting as, “Hello, how are you?” Answers:

One is “So far, so good.” This sounds like the response of a person on safari in a predator infested jungle. Things have been going pretty good so far, but at any minute I expect an attack resulting in catastrophe.  

Further translated, “God has taken care of me so far, but at any minute I expect His provision and protection to expire.”

A second even more negative response is, “Tired!”

In the Old Testament era followers of Jehovah were taught a special prayer which gave cause for optimism. It is often called the equivalent of the Lord’s Prayer in the Old Testament. It is called the Aaronic Benediction.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”  (Numbers 6: 24 – 26)

God taught us this prayer. Blessing is His idea. A simple response to the greeting, ”Hello, how are you?” should well be, “Blessed.”

The prayer in faith expects God to draw near and enfold one in His grace. To pray it is to live expectant of blessings, not of dread as in “So far, so good.”

The praying of this prayer is a way of saying, “Yes, Amen!” to God’s promises. 

“The Lord bless you and keep you” speaks of present blessings and future care by the Lord. He will “keep you.” 

The expression, “Make His face to shine upon you” refers to Him revealing His will.

“The Lord lift up His countenance upon you” is a term expressive of a smile.  May God find such pleasure in you as to smile and reward you with peace.

The prayer speaks of blessing, presence, and the smile of God. It is not a person’s idea, it is God’s idea. It is what He wants for you.

Pray it expectantly, respond accordingly, and acknowledge it every time someone asks how are you.