The Purpose of Praise ~ Psalm 67

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God be merciful unto us, and bless us;
and cause His face to shine upon us; Selah.
That Thy way may be known upon earth,
Thy saving health among all nations.
Let the people praise Thee, O God;
let all the people praise Thee.
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy:
for Thou shalt judge the people righteously,
and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
Let the people praise Thee, O God;
let all the people praise Thee.
Then shall the earth yield her increase;
and God, even our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

What a beautiful psalm! I have heard this psalm memorized and recited by groups of young people, and I’ve heard it read in church. It is a glorious psalm of praise to the Lord. But today I want to focus on two words that could easily be glossed over: that and then. The underlying theme in this psalm is not so much that we should be praising God as that the purpose of God’s blessing in our life is so we can show the world through our praise to God how wonderful He is so that they will come to know Him too.

How often do we give glory to God—in the workplace—for our vehicle? good health? safety? home and family? the provision of food? How often to we glorify God for these things anywhere outside of church? If church is the only place where you praise God, then shame on you. How is anyone going to come to know the Lord as Savior if they do not hear you praising Him? Do you think they’ll come to church? Really? Not if the “change” in you does not span all the days of the week and all the situations of your life.

Take a look at verse 2: “That Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations.” In other words, “God, be merciful to us, and bless us, so that everyone everywhere will know of Your great power to heal and to save.” They did not want God’s blessing just for the sake of the blessing, for the sake of a life of ease. They wanted God to be magnified in the eyes of all men around them.

Verse 4 is not just for Israel, but for all the nations. “O let the nations be glad and sing for joy.”

Verse 5 too…. “Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee.”

When all the people praise God, then the earth shall yield her increase (v.6), God will bless us (vv.6-7), and all people of the earth shall fear Him (v.7).

It’s Coming…

Do you think this will happen in our lifetime? Not likely. Right now there are wars and rumors of wars, nation is divided against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and the love of many has grown cold toward God. But we can look forward to the day when all men will worship the one living and true God, for that day is coming.

Isaiah prophesied about it:

Isaiah 45:20-23 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you that are escaped from the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell and bring forth your case; yea, let them take counsel together: who has declared this from ancient time? who has told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no other God besides Me; a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. Look unto Me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

The apostle Paul quoted Isaiah in his letter to the church at Rome:

Romans 14:9-12 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why do you judge your brother? or why do you despise your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, “As I live,” says the Lord, “every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

John writes of the fulfillment of this prophecy in the book of Revelation:

Revelation 5:9-14 And they sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open the seals thereof: for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation; And have made us unto our God a kingdom and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” And the four living creatures said, “Amen.” And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped him that lives forever and ever.

We who know the Lord must be busy telling others about the great God we serve because one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Some will confess this out of a heart of belief, having been washed in the blood of the Lamb, and others will confess after being sentenced to eternity in hell by the very Lamb of God whom they rejected during life. Heaven forbid their blood should be on our hands.

Romans 10:12-14 For there is no difference between the Jew and the [Gentile]: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

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Photos taken at our campfire singalong and testimony time at a ladies’ retreat a couple weeks ago.

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