Welcome to Welling for your spiritual health and growth. I begin our new series on perhaps the strongest emotion that a human being can experience. I have seen it on wall plates, on T-shirts, on stock images. Simply reads, “Blessed”, “Truly Blessed”, or something to that effect. Because “blessed” means it leads to thanksgiving.
A sense of gratitude deep in the core of our human existence. It takes a particular thought process and intentional focus on the many things that God has done for us in order to prioritize blessing in the middle of confusion, of disruption, of challenges that each one of us must face on this side of eternity.
And yet, in the listing of God’s blessings, there is a specific joy. And that’s a way to live life: with joyful things, with joyful gratitude. In fact, they are all related. You can say “blessed thankful grateful” or “thankful blessed grateful”, “grateful thankful blessed”. They are coordinated. In this series, I want to talk about a Psalm which goes beyond the Lord’s blessing of us into generating a response that is active because we’ve been blessed. While we are listing the blessings, there is also a blessed beyond. Beyond what we deserve, of course, because if God gave us what we deserve, we won’t be there to count any blessings. But beyond what we’ve been given so that we can bless others.
Many of you know the Psalm that I wish to treat over the next several weeks. Psalm 67, falls into the blessing mode. The fact that we’ve been blessed and we can bless beyond–I’ve often thought that Psalm, 67, is the chapter this Psalm, which reflects the ministry of RREACH and the ministry that God has given to me.
The best because I have been blessed beyond. Psalm 67 is a song. As you see, at the very top is a Psalm, and that’s how we’re going to treat it. That is going to liberate us from our own selfish interests.
It’s a prayer not only to receive and ask. It’s a prayer to give, to be a means, to be an instrumental blessing to others: a channel. It takes some effort both to list the blessings and then to translate them into blessing beyond: blessing others. That is perhaps the most powerful thing that you will do as you revel in all that God has done for you. From spiritual conviction and spiritual understanding and spiritual comprehension to missional living for the rest of your life to justify your existence and to bring joy to others. The psalm is called a song, and that’s how we will treat it.
It’ll have verses and stanzas. Many of you heard me in the 30 minute version of it. But I can spend a few more minutes on each verse because we have many episodes that will bring you a sense of blessing as never before.
For a start, I would like to read the psalm for you. I’m going to read this in a linear fashion, but I really encourage you to respond in and to follow a responsive reading where I read verse one and you read verse two, as you see it on the screen.
Just go ahead and read it aloud, even though we can’t hear you. It’s worthwhile reading it. And then we’ll read the last words together. As you see in the heading of Psalm 67, is for the choir director with stringed instruments.
So there’s a lot of noise and joy and majesty and splendor and energy in the reading of the psalm by the people of God. It’s a psalm. It’s a song. There are many kinds of psalms, as you know, in scripture.
There are what we call “personal psalms” and “communal psalms.” There are “thanksgiving psalms” and there are “lament psalms.” There are “praise psalms” and there are “prayer psalms.” There are “creation psalms” and “national psalms”, even in “imprecatory psalms.” This one is a “global psalm”. The Psalm, which relates to the whole world.
So let’s begin. Verse one. “God, be gracious to us and bless us and cause his face to shine upon us, Selah.” Please join me: “That your way may be known on the Earth. Your salvation among all nations.”
“Let the people’s praise thee, oh God. Let all the peoples praise you and together let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations of the earth. Selah.”
“Let the peoples praise you, O God. Let all the peoples praise you.” Verse six: “The Earth has yielded its produce. God, our God, blesses us. Altogether, verse seven: “God blesses us. That all the ends of the Earth may fear him.
The very first word in the psalm probably controls the whole psalm and grabbing enough of the psalmist to just finish this prayer. We’re just saying, “God.”
As you well know, in the Book of the Psalms, there are five divisions like the books of Moses in this second book of the Psalms the word for God, there are many names for God, is not the national covenant name for God, but the global name for God. This is the same word God found in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God”.
He’s talking about God who created all, who controls all, who carries all, who consummate all things, as we will see later on in the chapter, God. This is about God’s reputation. For the Hebrew name was not simply one of convenience and identity, but for identification and character to God. That’s how most of us have gotten in. Many who are my heroes are not Jewish by race.
We have gotten in because God relates to all people. If you notice this particular psalm, that’s the word for God, Lord, that’s used. “God,” “God,” “our God,” “God.” Not “Lord,” “Yahweh,” but “Elohim God.” The one who created all: you and me. Who blesses all: you and me. That means this is a theocentric psalm. It is not egocentric: it’s related to God. That’s the adjustment we need if we’re going to live a life that’s blessed beyond and blesses beyond. That’s the end of episode one.