1 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 upon us, Selah 2 that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
3 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. Selah 5 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.
6 Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.7 God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Sowing and reaping
(Verses 1-2) Psalm 67 is lovely, simple and short. It is no less God’s word than Psalm 119 (176 verses) or the next Psalm 68 (35 verses). Sometimes it is great to get your teeth into a long psalm. Other times those same key blessings shine through a short psalm. Someone asked an Indian fakir (‘a Hindu holy man’ – Collins Dictionary) how he could lie on a bed of sharp nails. He said it was easier than lying on a few nails because they stuck in his flesh more than when many shared his weight! May the fewer points in this psalm, and other short ones, ‘stick in’ your mind, heart and life.
The psalmist asks several things in this psalm: he starts by simply asking God to ‘be gracious to us and bless us’ and he asks for God to smile on them. God always answers such humble requests for pardon, help and blessing. The psalmist asks his fellow worshipers to stop and think about that –that is what ‘Selah’ means. But his reason is selfless and God-honouring: he wants to be so close to God that he can effectively make God’s ways known ‘on earth’ and God’s salvation known ‘among the nations’. D L Moody, the godly, much used, American evangelist, said ‘You cannot lead someone closer to Christ than you are yourself’. If I want to see others trusting Christ and following Him, I need to live close to Him myself. That means I pray to and live for Him, as well as preach and teach His word. I should be concerned to see those living near me and others in different countries coming to Christ. Jesus died for all on that cross and will forgive any who turn from sins and trust Him, believing He shed His blood to bear and pay for their sins. A close walk with Christ means I have a global concern for the gospel to be known widely—to all people however different. God loves them all!
(Verses 3-5) Look at what the psalmist asks equally for ‘all the people’ in all the ‘nations of the earth’, whatever their race, colour or background. He longs that God is praised, that they become so glad that they ‘sing for joy’, and that they know God’s loving rule and guidance. God wants exactly the same for you, whoever you are and whatever you have done. Put your trust in Jesus, and it will begin to ‘happen’!
(Verses 6-7) He is convinced that because God is who He is (and remember, He said in 1 Samuel 2:30, ‘Those who honour me I will honour’) God’s guaranteed blessings to them will include a high yield harvest. That naturally refers to grain, but it also applies to life. Galatians 6:7-8 says, ‘A man reaps what he sows… the one who sows to please the [Holy] Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.’ Be faithful to the Saviour in whom you believe and ‘sow’ the word of God (the Bible) in your own and in others’ lives. He will bless you with a high yield ‘spiritual’ harvest. If Christians and churches worldwide – whatever their denomination or name, as long as they believe in God’s word, the Bible, live it out, and teach it simply – will be blessed. Across the world many will ‘fear Him’ with that godly fear that leads to their coming to Christ and following in His steps.