The Peoples Will Praise Him: Psalm 67


Psalm 67

 

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us,


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Selah

2 that your way may be known on earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth.

Selah

5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

6 The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth fear him!

  

Is the Gospel Preached Throughout the Earth?

In Psalm 67, the psalmist uses many words related to the whole earth. He speaks repeatedly of “the earth,” “the nations,” and “all the peoples.” All these words are meant to proclaim the salvation of the God who judges the nations and manifests his own righteousness.

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“Globalization did not bring about the worship of the nations.

In recent years, because of the pandemic and other geopolitical reasons, our focus on globalization has gradually been replaced by a turn toward national security. The Russian-Ukrainian war and the Taiwan Straits crisis have intensified this global confrontation. This seems to contradict what we see in Psalm 67.

Is the gospel really being preached throughout the earth today? The Internet and convenient international transportation have made access to every part of the globe easier – but the secular worldview is spreading faster than the gospel. In many parts of the world, a decline of the Christian population has caused the church to be even more discouraged and marginalized by the wave of globalization. The U.S. election exposed the church’s position as divided and torn between two political parties. Geopolitical conflict has proven: globalization did not bring about the worship of the nations.

False Promises of Globalization

The world’s changing external circumstances over the last few years lead us to reflect: has globalization brought about a revival of evangelism across the world – or just another “Tower of Babel”? In the Bible, each time God performs a mighty works of redemption, human sin also reaches yet another peak. As it was in Scripture, so it will be for us. Until the day of final judgment, the world will hate us, because we do not belong to this world. Our desire to live in comfort has made Christians forget where, exactly, our bodies are.

When this false peace is removed, when we again face turmoil, when we realize the revival of the whole globe was just a delusion: only then can we appreciate the psalmist’s appeal to God in Psalm 67. He said: “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!”

How will this happen? Verse 1 says: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us.” Everything depends upon our sovereign and gracious God. He has mercy on us; he takes the initiative to bless us and shine his face upon us. We are to turn to him, wait on him, and pray.

God Has Begun His Work

At the end of this psalm, verses 6-7 say: “The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!”

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“Through the increase of the earth, God assures us he will accomplish his will. We are certain of this, even before our eyes have seen it.

Previously, in verses 2-5, the psalmist said “may” all the nations worship God. Now, he writes “the earth has yielded its increase.” This is an assurance God has begun to do his work, and shows us the resulting fruit. The psalmist affirms God “will” bless us.

Through the increase of the earth, God assures us he will accomplish his will. We are certain of this, even before our eyes have seen it. Although the world we face today is turbulent and dangerous, we look to the God who led Israel out of Egypt, the God who raised David above his enemies on all sides, and the God who led the apostles to spread the gospel throughout the Roman Empire.

For today’s Christians, the greatest proof that “the earth has yielded its increase” is that the Lord Jesus Christ completed his work of redemption on the cross. The Bible tells us he died for our sins and has risen from the dead, triumphing over sin and death. He told us: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Because of God’s mercy and because Christ has overcome the world, we can call out in prayer and praise just as the psalmist did: may all the nations and all the peoples come to praise God. We can believe that, although external circumstances may become worse, God will accomplish his will and establish the work of our hands. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will indeed fear him.

Luke lives in a city in eastern China, and he and his wife have one daughter. He is dedicated to evangelizing urban unbelievers and building Christ-centered churches.

 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

We thank you! You are the Lord, full of mercy and love. Bless us and shine upon us with your face. We confess: we often live in false peace and focus on external peace, forgetting that in Christ we have received true peace. Through the death and resurrection of Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin and death, nor do we live under your wrath. We hope you will judge all nations according to your justice, and guide the nations of the earth.

May all the nations and all the peoples praise you. Revive our lives, so that by your grace we may proclaim the gospel of your grace in the world. May “your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” May you be glorified among us! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

   


We are using the Psalms to guide our prayers for China

In 2022, our prayer movement is turning to the scriptural prayers found in the Psalms as we pray for the Chinese church. When you join our prayer movement, you will receive weekly prayer emails and a monthly newsletter so that you too can pray for our brothers and sisters in China.

  

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

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Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

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About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

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About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

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About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

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About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

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About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

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About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

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About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

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About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

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About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

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