“May God be gracious to us and bless us.” The Lord makes His “face shine” upon His people in a splendid benediction so that the nations of the earth may know the ways of God and may understand His saving power. The Lord has always intended to have the praise of all the nations of the earth. “Let the peoples praise you, O God!”
It was never the Lord’s intention that only the Jews would love Him. The rest of the people groups of the earth were not of secondary importance to His plans, with the Jews being sons of the kingdom and all the Gentiles forever consigned to joyless submission. “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.”
How did so many of God’s chosen people of the Old Testament miss passages like Psalm 67? Like all of humanity, they had a tendency to love the gift more than the Giver. Their status as a chosen nation was a great privilege, but the One who gave them that exalted position was not only the God of the Jews, he was also the God of the Gentiles.
Those who knew and loved the Giver would one day be pleased to learn more clearly of His plan to show grace to the nations of the earth. Like the Jerusalem church in Acts 11:18 many would one day be able to say, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” When that great day of worldwide mission came, they would be able to read passages like Psalm 67 with new understanding. They would find in these ancient songs strong confirmation that the Lord had always intended that all the nations of the earth would praise Him.
As the church eventually spread from Jerusalem, to Judea, and then throughout the Roman world, it would become clear to the apostles and to the thousands of disciples of Jesus in every city that the fields of the earth were “white for harvest” (John 4:35). All the many believers who were responding to the message of God’s grace would be able to sing with many believing Jews, “The earth has yielded its increase.” The harvest was not in wheat or barley, but in precious people who had found life in Israel’s God.
“God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!” Even these many centuries after the first missionary endeavors brought the Word of Christ to the nations around the Mediterranean Sea, there remain great opportunities for the church to be engaged in seeing all the people groups of the earth freely delighting in the Triune God. Though this work may even cost us our lives, it a blessing to be used by the Lord in the fulfillment of His eternal purposes.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Gracious Lord, be kind to us. Show forth Your grace to all the peoples of the earth. Draw them to Your worship. Move all nations to yield themselves to the celebration of Your eternal goodness.