Scripture reading – Psalm 67; Psalm 69

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Our study of the Psalms continues with two songs of worship. According to its title, Psalm 67 was addressed to “The Chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song” (it is believed that “Neginoth” was a stringed instrument).

Psalm 69 was titled “To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim” and described as “A Psalm of David.” The phrase “upon Shoshannim” no doubt denotes the instrument meant to accompany the psalm. “Shoshannim” means “lily,” and the instrument meant to accompany the song might have resembled the flower. The focus of today’s Bible study is Psalm 67.

A Prayer for God’s Grace and Mercy (Psalm 67:1)

Like other thanksgiving psalms, this brief but beautiful song is a petition to the God of Israel to be “merciful” and bless His people. The first verse echoed the priestly blessing recorded in Numbers 6:24-25 where we read, “24The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: 25The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.” Psalm 67:1 and Numbers 6:24-25 are prayers that the LORD would shine His favor on Israel.

A Prayer for the Nations to Be Saved and Praise the LORD (67:2-5)

Verses 2-5 was a universal petition that, by the LORD blessing His people (67:1), all the nations of the earth would come to the LORD, be saved, and praise Him (Psalm 67:2-3). Notice the motivation for asking for the LORD’s blessings was not selfish, but as a testimony of God’s favor upon Israel before all the nations of the earth (Psalm 67:2-3).

In seeing God blessing His people, the psalmist aspired that the nations of the earth would turn to the LORD and “be glad and sing for joy” (Psalm 67:4a). By coming to the LORD, the people were assured that God was a righteous judge and would rule and “govern the nations upon earth” (67:4b). Distinct from earthly authorities, the LORD is a perfect and just judge.

Unlike the scales of man’s justice, God’s judgment was described as perfectly righteous (67:4b). He is a just and holy God. He is kind and compassionate. What a great cause for rejoicing! “5Let the people praise thee, O God; Let all the people praise thee” (Psalm 67:5).

God’s Response to the Praise and Thanksgiving of the Nations (Psalm 67:6-7)

The psalmist observed that when a people and nation praise the LORD, in turn, He blesses the earth. The psalmist wrote, “6Then shall the earth yield her increase” (Psalm 67:6a). Having grown up on a family farm and enjoyed the fruit of a garden, the beauty of that promise resonates with me. Most do not toil in a garden, tilling the soil and planting seeds. Yet, be assured that the LORD blesses the labor of those who praise Him and promises that they will enjoy His blessings and the fruit of their work.

Twice, we read, “And God, even our own God, shall bless us. 7God shall bless us” (Psalm 67:6b-7a). When our hearts and thoughts are on the LORD, and we offer Him our praise and prayers of thanksgiving, He blesses us twofold! What an inspiring thought!

Closing thoughts –

It is a universal truth that What you sow, you will also reap. The verses of Psalm 67 assured worshippers that God blesses the labor of those who praise Him (Psalm 67:6b-7a). No wonder Paul exhorted the Thessalonian believers, saying, “Be not weary in well doing” (2 Thessalonians 3:13). He urged the same in his letter to Galatian believers, writing, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).

Are you weary of toiling? Are you laden with burdens too heavy to carry? Remember the LORD’s promise to bless those who sincerely worship and praise Him. To those, the psalmist promised, “The earth shall yield her increase” (67:6a), and “all the ends of the earth shall fear him” (Psalm 67:7b, Psalm 22:27).

Take a few minutes, write down, and count your blessings. Offer to the LORD a prayer of thanksgiving for the multitude of His blessings, and be faithful in the labor and work you can do, knowing He will bless those who praise Him.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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