June 15 2023
Today, Thursday June 15
God’s Face Shining Upon Us
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A song.
“God be merciful to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us. Selah
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, And govern the nations on earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us, And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.”
Psalm 67 is a beautiful Psalm of Praise! Except for verses 1 and 6, each verse in this brief psalm mentions "all nations" or "all peoples," and in that respect fits in with Psalms 65 and 66. Like the preceding Psalm, from the title we know that the writer of this one is also anonymous. Some commentators believe that it too seems to belong to the sudden period of joy, release, and blessing which overtook the nation of Israel in the days of Hezekiah and Isaiah after the miraculous termination of the Assyrian invasion. The psalm has the joy of prosperity ringing through it, as well as the joy of peace. Not only had the land been rid of the Assyrian scourge, but it had been blessed with an abundant harvest.
But Spurgeon in his commentary on the Psalms, “The Treasury of David”, said, “No author's name is given, but he would be a bold man who should attempt to prove that David did not write it.” He bases that on how it is so much like many of the other praise Psalms that David wrote. This is a Psalm that is about the “glory” and blessings of God being reveal to the nations through Israel, and as such, maybe God wanted all the focus to be on His glory and not someone else.
It should also be pointed out that like the preceding two Psalms and the one to follow, the Psalm is clearly millennial in scope. It has been called "Israel's missionary Psalm", and also "Israel's millennial prayer." It has to do with Messiah's missionaries sent forth to the nations during the millennium.
It's a Psalm of praise to God for all His blessings, as well as a prayer to God that His blessings will flow out to the Gentiles, especially His salvation. A blessing is a gift from God that glorifies His name, helps His people, and through them reaches out to help others who will glorify His name. God blesses us that we might be a blessing to others. This was part of God's calling and covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
This Psalm is not only a praise song, but it is a prayer that asks God to bless Israel so that His ways, His laws, and His salvation might be known and be "experienced personally" throughout the world. It's adapted from the High Priestly prayer in Numbers 6:22-27, “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, 'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: "The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace." ' "So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them." (Other references to this prayer are Psalms 4:6; 29:11; 31:16; 80:3, 7, 19.)
The glory of God was an important part of Israel's heritage (Rom. 9:1-5), for God's glory led Israel through the wilderness and rested over the tabernacle wherever the nation camped. To have the light of God's countenance smile upon them was the height of Israel's blessing, and to lose that glory meant judgment (1 Sam. 4, especially vv. 21-22). The prophet Ezekiel watched the glory depart before the temple was destroyed (Ezek. 8:4; 9:3; 10:4, 18; 11:22-23).
Israel was to be a light and a blessing to the nations (Isa. 42:6; 49:6-7; Acts 13:47). Israel gave us the knowledge of the true and living God, the Word of God and the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
Today, God's people today have God's glory within (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 4:6), and in our good works, godly character, and loving ministry we should reveal that glory to the world (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16).