THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU …
The phrase, “The Lord bless you and keep you…” is found in Numbers chapter 6:24-26 as part of the Aaronic blessing that God commanded Aaron the High Priest to impart to His people before returning to their tents. The word “keep” in Hebrew means “to guard or protect.” Inherent in the Aaronic blessing was the “keeping power” of God upon His people in their daily lives as they faced the challenges of living in the desert and later on in the Promised Land.
On June 10, 1990, BA 5390 took off from Birmingham to Malaga, Spain. At 17,300 feet, the window blew out due to a faulty repair. The sudden loss of pressure sucked Captain Tim Lancaster out the window who had just removed his seat belt. His body was outside the plane while his feet was inside the cockpit. Flight attendant Nigel Ogden grabbed the captain and tried to pull him back into the plane. Chief steward John Heward helped Ogden hold onto his legs. They could not pull him in due to the raging wind and cold temperatures. The crew, assuming Lancaster was dead, considered letting his body go, but decided that it was too risky as it could be sucked into an engine or damage the wing. He was also blocking the hole where the window once was. Co-pilot Atcheson landed the plane at Southampton. On landing they found that Captain Lancaster was still alive. The “keeping-power” of the flight crew kept him alive as well as the passengers of the plane. Lancaster was hospitalized with minor injuries and the only person injured in the incident. He recovered and returned to flying a few months later. The crew of BA 5390 received MBEs for their efforts that resulted in saving all lives onboard.
Captain Lancaster depended on the “keeping power” of the flight crew to keep him alive as well as all the passengers. The “keeping power” of God is infinitely greater and more powerful than the crew of BA 5390. We all depend upon the “keeping power” of God for each of our lives. Without it, we would surely stumble and fall, pulled by the power of the world and Satan. We need to thank God for it and appropriate it in our daily prayers.
Rev. Dr Timothy Chong