In Psalm 67 the psalmist begins by asking God for his blessing and then turns into a missionary’s song and foretells the Christian church.
Before getting into the prophetic words of this psalm let’s take a moment to meditate on the opening verses:
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”Psalm 67:1-2
It begins by acknowledging that we need God’s grace and mercy. As Charles Spurgeon explains, “Mercy is a foundation attribute in our salvation. The best saints and the worst sinners may unite in this petition.” Then it says something interesting. It asks God to shine his face upon us. When I think of God’s face shining on someone I think of the story of Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with his face radiating. In the original text, the word is “qaran” which literally translates to shooting out rays, to emit beams, to shine. When God shined his face on Moses, Moses’ face shot out rays!! The Israelites knew when Moses had spoken to the Lord because they would see his face radiating as proof. What if our faces radiated like that?!
By asking God to “make his face shine on us,” the psalmist is asking God to use us to make his glory known because if our faces radiate God’s glory then it will be hard for others to not notice. We would literally be walking billboards for God.
The future Church
In his commentary on Psalm 67, Matthew Henry explains its prophetic words:
“Thus was the psalmist carried out by the spirit of prophecy to foretell the glorious estate of the Christian church, in which Jews and Gentiles should unite in one flock, the beginning of which blessed work ought to be the matter of our joy and praise, and the completing of it of our prayer and hope, in singing this psalm.”
This psalm speaks of a day when God’s people will be united. Where his global Church will worship together. There will be no distinction between Jews and Gentiles because we are all saved and blessed by the mercy of our one God. This unity began with Jesus’s life and death, then continued with Pentecost, and continues today. We are God’s people described in this psalm.
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