Psalm 67:1-7 God’s Blessings That He Gives Me
Psalm 67:1-7 God’s Blessings That He Gives Me Are For God’s Glory
Why does God bless you? Why does He give you what He has given you? Is it for your own pleasure? Is it to satisfy your own desires? Is it to make you happy? No.
The purpose of God’s blessing on us is for His glory. God uses us and what He gives us to point people to Him.1
“May God be gracious to us and bless us; look on us with favor Selah so that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.” (Psalm 67:1–2, HCSB)
This verse is a hint of the priestly benediction:
“May Yahweh bless you and protect you; may Yahweh make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;” (Numbers 6:24–25, HCSB)
John Piper in his book Finishing the Mission: Bringing the Gospel to the Unreached and the Unengaged(, he recalls God’s purpose:
According to Psalm 67 God’s purpose is to be known and praised and enjoyed and feared among all the peoples of the earth. This is why he created the world, why he chose Israel, why Christ died, and why missions exists—missions exists because the knowledge of God, the praise of God, the enjoyment of God, and the fear of God don’t exist among the nations.4
Incidentally, this statement closely aligns with the five purposes that God has given every Christian, according to Rick Warren in his book, The Purpose-Driven Life (see my review). Let’s look at this psalm and see God’s blessings are for God’s purposes designed for His glory. In this psalm, I want to show you that God expects from us His five purposes which He has given to every Christian. These five purposes are given from God’s point of view. In other words, these are purposes (or results if you want to use that term) He expects from us as Christians and as churches when He blesses us.
GOD’S FIVE PURPOSES REVEALED IN PSALM 67
1. God wants to be known (missions) – Psalm 67:2
“so that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.” (Psalm 67:2, HCSB)
I believe that this verse reveals the first of God’s purposes: missions.
God designed us for a relationship with Him. He created us so that He could love us. Just as Paul points out in his sermon to the Greeks:
“From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:26–27, HCSB)
God wants to be known. He has made that the mission of the church:
“Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15, HCSB)
2. God wants to be praised (worship) – Psalm 67:3, Psalm 67:5
“Let the peoples praise You, God; let all the peoples praise You.” (Psalm 67:3, HCSB)
“Let the peoples praise You, God, let all the peoples praise You.” (Psalm 67:5, HCSB)
God wants to be known so that He can be worshiped. This reveals the second purpose that God has for me. God desires my worship. He wants me to look to Him and praise Him for what He has done for me.
3. God wants to be enjoyed (fellowship) – Psalm 67:4
“Let the nations rejoice and shout for joy…” (Psalm 67:4, HCSB)
The third purpose is fellowship. God also wants to be enjoyed. He wants a relationship that is not just based on praise. He doesn’t just want to be looked up to. He also wants to have a positive relationship with His creation. He wants me to spend time with Him. He wants to be part of my life. He wants me to make my life part of His. He’s already involved in my life. He wants me to acknowledge it and enjoy it.
4. God wants to be entrusted (ministry) – Psalm 67:6
“The earth has produced its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.” (Psalm 67:6, HCSB)
I believe that this verse reveals another of God’s purposes: ministry.
John Calvin commented on this verse and about being “bestowed benefits”:
And here it is to be remembered, that every benefit which God bestowed upon his ancient people was, as it were, a light held out before the eyes of the world, to attract the attention of the nations to him.5
The idea here is God bestows everything to us. He gives everything to us. We entrust back to God everything that you and I produce (or make, or manufacture). Whatever comes from our hands, we are to give back to God for God’s service.
When God gave us the earth to use, He gave us a command in Genesis. It was a trust:
“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:28, HCSB)
“But you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out over the earth and multiply on it.”” (Genesis 9:7, HCSB)
In both of these statements God entrusted to us work and relationships. But He never expected that we would do the work and build the relationships apart from Him. That’s why Paul says this in Ephesians:
“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, HCSB)
The point is that God has created us and has given us work. But the work is not for our personal benefit alone. God has blessed you with material blessings but they are for God’s glory.
This is part of the reason that we are called to give ten percent of our finances to God.
“Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.” (Malachi 3:10, HCSB)
But there is more to it than just financial things. We are entrusted with abilities, gifts, opportunities, and challenges. God has given us these “harvest opportunities” not just to make you skillful and rich. The reason He has given these is for His use, His opportunities, His desires, and His glory.
5. God wants to be feared (discipleship) – Psalm 67:7
“…and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.” (Psalm 67:7, HCSB)
God also desires to be feared. I believe this reveals the fifth purpose that God has for me. How is related to the purpose of discipleship or growth?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7, HCSB)
God doesn’t just want to be known. He wants to accepted and respected. He wants people from all over the world to come to Him. He wants to the ultimate Authority to which everyone will listen.
God’s blessing to me should increase the influence of God’s mission (Psalm 67:1-2). I don’t ask for God’s blessing for me. I ask for it so that I may spread God’s mission.
What is the result when God blesses me? It should make me a better witness. (Psalm 67:7)
God’s blessing to me should increase the influence of God’s mission (Psalm 67:1-2). I don’t ask for God’s blessing for me. I ask for it so that I may spread God’s mission. When God blesses us, it should lead each of us to a better witness to the world (Psalm 67:7)6
This brings us back to the first purpose in Psalm 67:1. Both the beginning of Psalm 67 and the end of Psalm 67 connect the five purposes together, like links in a circular chain.
The psalm begins and ends with the connection between the people of God being blessed by God so that the nations will be blessed by us. What we have not noticed is that when the connection is repeated at the end of the psalm it is harvest time, and the blessing on the people of God is mainly a material blessing. Verses 6–7:
The earth has yielded its increase [there has been a great harvest—this is a harvest psalm];
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!
So the immediate blessing in view is the way God has provided all the material needs of his people. Yet, the entire focus is not on material blessings for the world but spiritual ones—that is, God himself. Derek Kidner in his commentary says:
If the setting of the psalm seems to be a festival of harvest home, it is remarkable … how nature is overshadowed by history, and the psalmist [is] stirred by hopes that have no material or self-regarding element.… Here, nothing matters but man’s need of God Himself.7
• Oh, Lord, let your way be known.
• Let our salvation be known.
• Let praise arise to you from all the peoples.
• Let joy overflow from the hearts of the nations.
• Show yourself a righteous judge, and a powerful guide.
The pervasive concern for the nations is that they would experience the true God—God himself.
God gives his people material wealth for the sake of the world’s spiritual worship. That is, he blesses his church with riches for the sake of reaching the nations. He gives a bountiful wheat harvest for the sake of a bountiful world harvest. He gives us more money than we need so that we can meet the world’s greatest need—the need to know God through Jesus Christ.8
Let me end with a story by Jon Courson:
In the north of Israel lies the Sea of Galilee. It teems with life. But in the south, there is another body of water: the Dead Sea. There’s no life there. Why? In the Sea of Galilee, there is inflow and outflow. The Jordan River comes in and flows through. In the Dead Sea, however, although there is an inflow, there is no outflow. Consequently, the saline content of the water has built up to the point where nothing can grow. The same thing can be true of us spiritually. If you feel like the Dead Sea, it could very well be because there is not an outflow in your life.
If I’m not looking for people to reach out to, I miss my calling, my purpose and suddenly, my walk is dry. Bible study will be boring. Prayer will be meaningless. Devotion will be nonexistent. Praise will be an effort. But when I say, “Lord, bless me so I can go to work and share the gospel, so that I can tell someone he’s loved by You,” suddenly my prayer life will have purpose, the Word will come alive, and praise will overflow once again.9
1 Jim Erwin, “God’s Blessing for God’s Glory,” 30 April 2016, Lectionary Reflections Year C (2015-2016), Logos Bible Software Notes, accessed on 23 September 2016.
2 Wilson, Psalms, 1:927.
3 C. Hassell Bullock, Psalms 1–72, ed. Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton, vol. 1, Teach the Text Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2015), 507.
4 John Piper, “Let the Peoples Praise You, O God! Let All the Peoples Praise You!,” in Finish the Mission: Bringing the Gospel to the Unreached and Unengaged, ed. David Mathis (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 138.
5 John Calvin and James Anderson, Commentary on the Book of Psalms, vol. 3 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 4.
6 Jim Erwin, “God’s Blessing for God’s Glory,” 30 April 2016, Lectionary Reflections Year C (2015-2016), Logos Bible Software Notes, accessed on 23 September 2016.
7 Derek Kidner, Psalms 1–72, vol. 15 of Tyndale Old Testament Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008), 236.
8 John Piper, “Let the Peoples Praise You, O God! Let All the Peoples Praise You!,” in Finish the Mission: Bringing the Gospel to the Unreached and Unengaged, ed. David Mathis (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 145–146.
9 Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: Volume Two: Psalms-Malachi (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 80–81.