“May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.” Numbers 6:26

 I had a recent conversation with Siri and here’s how it went:

ME: “Siri, where does the tradition of saying “bless you” when someone sneezes come from?

SIRI: “Many people have become accustomed to saying “bless you” or “gesundheit” when someone sneezes. Wishing someone well after they sneeze probably originated hundreds of years ago. The phrase “God bless you” is attributed to Pope Gregory the Great, who uttered it in the sixth century during a bubonic plague epidemic (sneezing is an obvious symptom of one form of the plague).

The exchangeable term “gesundheit” comes from Germany and it literally means “health.” The idea is that a sneeze typically precedes illness. It entered the English language in the early part of the 20th century, brought to the United States by German-speaking immigrants. Virtually every country around the globe has its own way of wishing sneezers well.”

In Numbers 6:22-27 we see the “Priestly Blessing;” “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: 24 ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.  May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”

I remember being in Israel years ago and hearing Jews say the greeting, “Shalom,” as they passed one another. The word “Shalom” in Hebrew means “Peace, Blessing and Wholeness.” As a New Covenant believer in Jesus, we’ve been given the word “Saved or Salvation” which means “to be saved, healed, delivered, preserved, protected, made prosperous and made whole.” And, because of the “Priesthood of the Believer,” we can declare the Blessing of God over loved ones, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or anyone we choose. And we, just like Aaron and his sons, have the same promise from God that He will back it up.

So, in Jesus’ Name, BLESS YOU!!!

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