June 17 2023
Today, Saturday June 17
“God Shall Bless Us…”
“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.”
“God, our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us!”
As I prepared to do today’s chat, the old invitation hymn “Trust and Obey” came to my mind. The first verse and chorus goes like this: “When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there's no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” I wish we had space to do all the verses of this wonderful hymn with its powerful message.
This hymn is about the truth that we find in Psalm 67. Matter of fact the entire Bible from cover to cover, teaches us this foundational principle. And this truth and principle is, that when we truly trust the Lord and obey His precepts and commandments, we will find our greatest satisfaction. Someone said, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him”. To be blessed by the LORD is to find true happiness! Remember the “Beatitudes” in Matthew 5:1-12!
Some people’s happiness is totally dependent upon “happenings”. In other words, what happens around them determines whether or not they are happy. If things are going well their way, then they are feeling happy. But if circumstances are going bad and they are experiencing some sort or suffering, then they are sad and miserable.
The believers who love the Lord and desire to obey Him and surrender their lives to Him, as they live by His truths and principles, will find like the Apostle Paul, “In whatever state they are in, they are content” (Philippians 4:11-13). They are satisfied in whatever circumstance they find themselves in, because their “happiness” comes from their intimate relationship and fellowship with the Lord!
Psalm 67:6-7 closes with the promise that when God’s people are praising and blessing the Lord, He will make the earth fruitful. What does the harvest have to do with the conversion of the nations, of the world? The phrase "Then the land shall yield her increase" (v. 6) is a quotation from Leviticus 26:3-4: “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit”. Leviticus 26 is a summary of God's covenant with Israel along with Deuteronomy 28-30.
God made it clear that His blessing on the land depended on Israel's obedience to His law (Lev. 26:1-13). The blessings He would send Israel would be a witness to the pagan nations that Jehovah alone is the true and living God, and this would give the Jews opportunity to share the Word with them. “The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you”. (Deuteronomy 28:8-10).
But if Israel disobeyed the Lord, He would withhold the rain and their fields would yield no harvest (Lev. 26:14-39), and this would put Israel to shame before the Gentile nations (Jer. 33:1-9; Joel 2:17-19; Deut. 9:26-29). Why would "all the ends of the earth" fear a God who didn't provide food for His own people?
The application to the church today is obvious: as we obey the Lord, pray and trust Him, He provides what we need, and the unsaved around us see that He cares for us. This gives us opportunity to tell them about Jesus. While verse 6 speaks of a literal harvest, it also reminds us of the "spiritual harvest" that comes as we witness for the Lord (John 4:34-38). God blesses the nations through His people Israel and through His church, and all the nations should trust Him, obey Him, and fear Him. Praise the Lord!