Focal Passage: Psalm 67
It was a worship service to remember! In 1988, I attended my
first convocation service held in Binkley Chapel on the campus of Southeastern
Baptist Theological Seminary. I will never forget the experience. The preaching
was stirring, the music played by the organ was majestic, but what was truly
memorable for me was listening to the most beautiful and heartfelt
congregational singing I had ever heard.
The people of God love to sing the praises of God. The
Psalms are the hymn book of the church. Psalm 67, we are told, was to be sung
to the accompaniment of stringed instruments.
Now we know from 2 Chronicles 29 that the instruments,
instituted by David at the direction of God, were used in conjunction with the
sacrifices in worship at the Temple.
These sacrifices, of course, preceded the great sacrifice of
the Lord Jesus for the sins of His people. As we meditate upon this Psalm, let
us keep this fact in mind. All of the blessings that we receive come as a
result of the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the first three verses of this Psalm is a prayer of God’s
people that they might make known the way of eternal life to the nations of the
world. When the eternal kingdom comes, and the King of kings reigns and judges
the earth, then all the redeemed shall “be glad and sing for joy” (v. 4). The
last three verses proclaim the blessedness and fruitfulness of that day.
Psalm 67 belongs to the tradition of giving thanks to God
for the mercy, blessing, and favor He has shown His people. What makes Psalm 67
unique, though, is that the Psalmist has his eyes on something bigger than just
his own community.
This is surprising because, normally at a time of abundance,
the tendency is to thank God for what He has done for you. In Psalm 67, we have
a person who at a time of abundance, even while he thanks God, focuses on God’s
larger purpose in the world.
We are blessed to be a blessing. This is a theme that runs
throughout the Bible.
It goes all the way back to the call of Abram where it says,
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your
name great, and you will be a blessing” (Gen.12:2). It’s at the very heart of
God’s covenant relationship with His people.
I think back to that heartfelt singing I heard as I attended
my first seminary chapel service and ask, “Does my life bear witness to a God
worth singing about?”