Grant Your Blessing on All Your Creation
“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. Ps 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.” (Psalm 67:1–7 NIV11-GKE)
This one of my favourite Psalms in all the Psalter that speaks to us on the subject of mission.
J. Herbert, in his book, “The Making of a Missionary” says that “God is a missionary God; The Bible is a missionary book. The gospel is a missionary message. The church is a missionary institution. And when the church ceases to be missionary minded, it has denied its faith and betrayed its trust”. God’s will is for all nations to acknowledging his Kingship, Lordship and Salvation.
Why is Harvest mentioned in this Psalm?
“The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.” (Psalm 67:6 NIV11)
I would like so say three things about this Psalm and try to answer this question!
- The Benediction
” 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.” (Psalm 67:1–3 NIV11-GKE)
The first thing that we notice in this Psalm is that it is Song of Praise! The Word praise is repeated four times!
The second thing that we notice is that this Psalm is a Song of Joy. The joy of the Lord and the gladness of the People of God. It is a song of Salvation.
The third thing that we notice is the emphasis that this Psalm has on the Nations, peoples, the earth.
What is a benediction?
Psalm 67 does to takes us back to the Classic Aaron’s Blessing or the Benediction of Numbers 6:24-26.
“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 ESV)
The benediction is a Latin word; it comes for from two words:
- Bene meaning Good
- ‘Diction’ meaning Word.
So, it is a Good Word! It comes from the heart and Goodness of God’s character and the Word of God.
His Word came to be, and His Word can be a creating force, God spoke, his word and it came to be. He blessed the seven day, and he blessed Adam and Eve, and he gave them his blessing to rule and multiply what he created.
By Blessing them, God is saying: “that I delight in you, that I am happy with you, that I rejoice with you”.
- My blessing is about me to you.
I mean this: I delight so much in you; you are my precious possession; you are my delight; you are the crown of creation. I care about you.
- But also I am committed to you, to your well being, and I will provide everything to make sure that that blessing is accomplished, and fulfilled.
Why is this so important to us?
Because at the heart of this blessing is the concept of community: “The blessing of God can only take place in the context of community”.
In the garden of Eden God Adam lived in community with God, God’s idea of man increasing in number was to form a community of people that will live according to his love, grace and blessing.
That is why the Psalm says May God be Gracious to US and Bless US!
You and I need the blessing of God, the Good Word of God. He will give us identity, will assure us that we are loved, valued and that we are not going to run seeking the approval of people. God is the only one who can give us fulfilment.
The danger is that when we do not have the blessing of God, we tend to exploit people and use people for our selfish motives and by the same token we are manipulated by people seeking the same thing.
2. The Nations’ Praise
” 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.” (Psalm 67:4–5 NIV11-GKE)
How is the Way of the Lord will be made known on earth?
How is his saving power among the nations?
There are two essential things we need to see here!
God relates to his world, and the nature of his rule in creation and history unveils his wonderful character. Psalm 67 ascribes Kingship to the Lord, it speaks of his sovereign, his universal rule characterised by justice, joy, and peace. As he rules the nations, he does not exclude them from sharing in the joy of his presence.
The nations must acknowledge God as the Giver of all good things. He is the Ruler of the universe, and as the One who has revealed his “way” to Israel. Now the Nations sing for joy because of God’s salvation because of his Just ruling and Guidance. It is a description of the very nature of God:
• God can save
• God who is a just Judge
• God, who is our Leader, Lord, who Guide us.
This Psalm is saying that the Nations of this world are glad, they sing praise to Him; he is the one capable of salvation and deliverance.
Not just physical salvation or physical deliverance, but this speaks of a heartfelt thanksgiving and praise. God can save us and rescue from the power of sin and death.
He guides us just as he drove Moses through the desert experienced the guidance of God by day and night in Ex. 13:21 in this same way, he asked Abraham to leave his country in Gn 12:3 to a land that was not his own to become a nation in order to be a blessing to the nations.
So God will and is guiding us now by his WORD and SPIRT living in us.
The praise of God is in response to his saving involvement with his people. When salvation is extended to the nations, they too will join in praising God.
However, the word ‘praise’ can also be translated “Give thanks” which gives us a complete understanding of these verses 3 & 5.
“Let the people give you thanks to you, O God.
Let all the people give you thanks, O God.’
The word benediction is God’s delighting in the Nations as the People praise him. He delights in us!
3. The Nations’ Blessings, v.6-9
“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.” (Psalm 67:6–7 NIV11-GKE)
The Psalmist concludes with a description of the earth bringing forth abundant crops, which is a sign of God’s blessings.
It is the abundant harvest of the land. It is connected to the faithful disposition adopted by the people of God. So that they can be a blessing to the nations to “all the ends of the earth”.
This is the second aspect of the benediction or blessing.
God is not just committed to blessing us because we are precious to Him but also He does something about it; he is practical in his application of the Blessing.
He takes care that his blessing is substantial and practice, and therefore God’s gift is so much link to the soil, the land, the seed. God is committed to our wellbeing.
It is the blessing of God upon the earth he created to bring forth everything that sustains life!!
“Harvest is a declaration of the Blessing of God upon his creation.”
There is a beautiful movement that starts in Psalm. 61 and finishes in Psalm 67
“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2 NIV11-GKE) The voice of the Psalmist captures the plight of the faithful exiles, who call out for deliverance ‘from the ends of the earth’.
“You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,” (Psalm 65:5 NIV11-GKE), God has become more than Israel’s refuge, he is the ‘hope of all the ends of the earth’.
“Psalms 66:1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is the power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.” (Psalm 66:1–4 NIV11-GKE) We have a call to worship God; the celebration has begun in shouts of joy and praise; all the earth is called to this celebration feast.
In 67:7 concludes that ‘all the ends of earth will fear the Lord”.
This song of praise is a song that describes to us the Blessing purposes of God, and it is a call of worship. The nations will come and worship Him. Without pointing to the Messiah, the Psalm anticipates a glorious messianic era in which Jews and Gentiles share in the glorious presence of God. The truth is this new era has come, it is here and we anticipate a much glorious harvest when the Son of God comes back again.