Psalm 67

blessingofradiantface“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

Rather than using the word Yahweh (“LORD” in English translations), which is Israel’s covenantal and personal name for God, he uses Elohim (“God” in English translations), the name used when talking about God’s relationship to all men, nations and creation.

Then another slight change using the words “among us” (literally) instead of “upon us.”

All this bringing us to – “so that your ways may be known upon the earth, your salvation among all the nations.”

God’s ways of covenant love will become clear to the nations to the extent that His blessing becomes evident among His people.

Three times this psalm refers to the blessing from God (vv. 1,6,7).  The structure is almost an exact replica of Genesis 12:2-3: Bless us, bless us, bless us…so that all the nations might know the Lord.

This psalm was sung at the Feast of Pentecost – celebrating the summer harvest of first fruits.  It is more remarkable when God later poured out His Spirit on Jews from every nation and an unusual harvest began to take place.

There are three reasons given in the Psalm that encourages us to become living proof of God’s purposes.

God has been gracious to us  We as God’s people have experienced God’s grace. It is to be made known among the nations.

God rules and guides all nations  God presides as a great ruler, not as a judicial punishing type, but a royal ruler who wisely rules in righteousness.  He is a guide for the nations as a Great Shepherd.

The very goodness of God  He has been so good to us.  Abundance, answered prayer – the same power available for material gain is available for spiritual increase.  If God’s power were more evident in our lives and preaching, then everyone would witness the spiritual results, both in our nation and in other nations.

Lastly, the word fear in verse 7 reflects the believing in Him and the putting of your whole soul’s commitment on Him.  Fear is one of the OT words for trust and belief.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of everything: of understanding, of living, of personal holiness and of a vital personal relationship to Him.

Psalm 67

Westminster Abbey Choir – psalm 67

Shine – Psalm 67

Charles Ives: Psalm 67 (1894)

Bishop of Oxford reads Psalm 67

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