More Than Enough Reason for Praise

When was the last time you took the opportunity to meditate deeply on all God has done for you? Surely every worship assembly, Bible class, or private devotional should encourage such to some extent, but a deeper consideration requires sustained concentration. Thus, God’s people should regularly move beyond the generalities of thankfulness to more specific thoughtfulness. Rather than running through scripture as if on a time trial, we should slowly breathe it in and let it fill our minds and hearts with a careful consideration of all God’s abundant care and spiritual expectations.

The Psalmist’s outburst in Psalm 67 provides just such a meditation—a reflection on the priestly blessing given in Numbers 6:24-26, though with a renewed focus and selfless vigor. While the wording of the original blessing remains clearly visible in Psalm 67:1, the shift from Yahweh in Numbers to Elohim in the psalm foreshadows the broadening of the understanding of what blessings truly mean. For the psalmist, the blessings and  possibilities that stirred the soul went beyond the individual, the household, or the nation to encompass the needs of all peoples in every nation. This was no mere desire for personal favor but rather a heartfelt hope that the blessings of relationship that Yahweh provided for Israel might ultimately extend to all peoples, that in Elohim they might truly know God and enjoy salvation (Psa. 67:2) and come to worship and praise Him from a heart lifted out of the tumult and confusion of life (Psa. 67:3). Thus, the psalmist builds the anticipation in the hope that all might come to enjoy the full extent of blessings God makes possible—to know His righteous judgment and what a joy it is to have God as King (Psa. 67:4). For this, too, He is worthy of worship and praise (Psa. 67:5). Then, with majestic splendor, he offers the evidence of God’s providential care for all in nature, proving that God cares for all mankind and blesses all mankind (Psa. 67:6). However, in doing so, with this great understanding and hope renewed, He is no longer simply the God of our fathers, nor the God of Israel; He is “God, our own God.” He is a God who includes all and wants people of every nation to be His. Therefore, He gladly blesses us, and when we come to appreciate those blessings will love Him and revere Him all the more (Psa. 67:7).

For a Hebrew poet to have penned such words, moving away from the language of exclusion to the heart of inclusion shows the prophetic mind of inspiration at work. While God did indeed continue to provide for the Gentile nations throughout the centuries, it was in the blessing provided through Abraham’s seed that people of all nations could fully realize the beauty, power, and depth of the blessing God had in mind all along. The psalmist’s reflection caught a glimpse of this beauty and burst out in beautiful song. What more then should we, who have become the recipients of this blessing, do when we reflect on the blessings possible in Christ? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

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