Friday, June 13, 2008

Simple and Pleasant

Psalm 67
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine upon us, Selah
2 that your ways may be known on earth,

your salvation among all nations.
3 May the peoples praise you, O God;

may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,

for you rule the peoples justly
and guide the nations of the earth. Selah
5 May the peoples praise you, O God;

may all the peoples praise you.
6 Then the land will yield its harvest,

and God, our God, will bless us.
7 God will bless us,

and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Psalm 67 is full of surprising connections, when one notices that it is full of cause-effect statements.

Cause (1)
Verse 1
When God
· Is gracious to us
· Blesses us
· Makes his face shine on us
Effect (1)
Verse 2
The whole world becomes aware of
· His [kind, generous] ways and
· [The fact that] he saves

Cause (2)
Verses 3-5
When people
· Praise God (4x)
· Are glad
· Sing for joy
(because of God’s
· Just rulership
· Guidance)
Effect (2)
Verses 6-7

· The land will yield a good harvest
· God will bless us (2x)
· He will be feared [reverenced] around the world

The whole message fits together especially well if one considers verses 3-7 first, then verses 1-2. When read that way, the message of Psalm 67 can be summarized as:

Expressing thankfulness to God →
Multiplied blessings →
Widespread awareness of his goodness

This is one example of how pleasant and simple our relationship with God can be. I respond in love and thankfulness. He takes even better care of me. The world around me begins to respond to him and come into the place in which they can be fully cared for by him also. How much more natural and effective this is than trying to obtain God's blessings for myself by much petitioning, and trying to point others to the Lord by "preaching."

No comments: