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Meditation Psalm 67

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us –
so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you rule the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest;
    God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

(Ps. 67:1-7 NIV)

The Psalmist uses a familiar expression to describe the desire for God’s blessing ‘make His face shine upon us’.

Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

(Ps. 31:16 NIV)

Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

(Ps. 80:3 NIV)

Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

(Ps. 80:7 NIV)

Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

(Ps. 80:19 NIV)

Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees.

(Ps. 119:135 NIV)

It reflects the priestly benediction

“‘”The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”‘

(Num. 6:24-26 NIV)

The use of well-known phrases makes a link with the past as the Psalmist anticipates future blessing from the Lord. A further link with the past is the blessing of the nations. The promise made to Abraham was that all peoples would be blessed through him.

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

(Gen. 12:2-3 NIV)

God is seen as the source of all blessings. The blessing of God makes life on earth not only possible but also enjoyable. There is a missionary zeal evident in the Psalm, seen in the prayer that God’s ways and salvation be known to all the nations on the earth. This requirement to reach out and witness is described in Isaiah

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no saviour. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed– I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”

(Isa. 43:10-13 NIV)

As the people of God are blessed, so they must share that blessing with others.

As the message of salvation is made known to all the earth, so then all the earth will praise the Lord. To know the Lord flows into praise of the Lord. The more we know the Lord, the more we will praise the Lord. The only way we will come to know the Lord is through the revelation in His word.

The Lord’s rule is a cause of praise because the Lord’s rule is characterised by justice, joy and peace. This rule is in operation now, but it will see its full expression when the Lord Jesus returns again.

In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!”

(Rev. 5:12 NIV)

The harvest in this Psalm has both a literal and metaphorical meaning. The promise of Deuteronomy was that God would bless the harvest when the people were faithful to the covenant. Additionally here the harvest is the harvest that Jesus speaks about.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

(Matt. 9:36-38 NIV)

They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

(Jn. 4:30-35 NIV)

When the light of Christ is shining through His people, then the Gospel will be spread and souls out of all nations will be saved. Hence the Psalmist’s prayer

May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

(Ps. 67:7 NIV)

If we can use a colloquial expression ‘Yes Lord, bring it on!’ Or as the writer of Revelation puts it

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

(Rev. 22:20-21 NIV)

Prayer
Lord we thank You that You blessed our father Abraham, and that through his family came the Lord Jesus Christ, and that Christ has been the blessings of the nations. We thank You that the Gospel came into our country and that we have been blessed. Lord work in our lives that the Gospel might shine forth to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord hear our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.