“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (Psalm 67:1,2).
Two things are happening to us:
- We are experiencing God’s empowering grace and blessing at the front end. Grace is a gift, not a paycheck.
- His face is shining upon us, saying that He is favoring us, not turning away in shame.
The goal for these blessing on us? —that the nations experience the same.
“May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, O God, may all the peoples praise you” (v. 3-5).
Remarkable. An ultra-nationalist knowing God had called out his people gives attention to other peoples. He warred against them. Now he sees God’s higher purpose for Israel. He uses the word “peoples” five times in three verses. Them is on his mind, not just us. How interracial can you get?!
Blessings often get stuck at the altar rather than going out to the streets or across the continent. They are not meant to be scarfed down like a burrito but passed along to folks with different customs.
The author understands that we are favored so they can be. David highlights three glorious changes:
- They praise God. They are no longer speaking lies about lesser deities they have carved out of wood or invented out of fear. It happens to us, then to them. How tragic if they stay with dumb idols and terrorizing gods.
- They become glad and sing for joy. They were not glad when they were killing babies to appease a mad monarch. But now God is shining on them and brings joy.
- They experience the rule of God. Being ruled by Satan is not close to pretty. When we share about a God who shines on them, they experience a kind King.
Us and us gets ugly. We die like the Dead Sea is dying. Us and them is satisfying and productive. We can only keep what we give away. “Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him” (v. 6, 7).
Israel sang this song, tied to the Aaronic benediction, as they brought in the fall crops. Check out the harvest of righteousness. The farthest nations join in the song of praise in their own language and colorful clothes. God loves the song!