Psalm 67:1-2 says, “May God be gracious to us and bless us; look on us with favor so that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations” (HCSB). This is a prayer based on the priestly prayer of Numbers 6:22-24. The Psalmist here and the priest in Numbers 6 are both praying for God’s grace and blessing on the people of Israel. It is not wrong to want and to pray for God’s blessing in our lives! In fact, scripture encourages us to pray this way! However, we must not disconnect God’s provision from God’s purpose.
Notice the “so that” in verse 2. This is the connection between the prayer for God’s grace, blessing, and favor and God’s purpose. His purpose is that His way would be known on the earth and His salvation would be known among all nations. God’s glory is the ultimate reason for God’s blessing! This is not an isolated verse either. Ezekiel 36:22-23 says, “Therefore, say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: It is not for your sake that I will act, house of Israel, but for My holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you went. I will honor the holiness of My great name, which has been profaned among the nations—the name you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I am Yahweh—the declaration of the Lord God—when I demonstrate My holiness through you in their sight” (HCSB). God is acting on behalf of Israel, not ultimately for their sake, but for His name’s sake. His purpose is His glory!
We are prone to make ourselves the center of the universe. In our sin nature we are bent toward seeking our own glory and seeking blessing for selfish reasons. Christian, we are not the center of God’s universe. God is the center of His universe! He exalts Himself because He is the only One worthy of being exalted! The story of Christianity is not that God loves me and sent His Son to die for me. This is true and it is part of the story, but it is incomplete. The story of Christianity is that God loves me and sent His Son to die for me, so that His glory, love, grace, mercy, might, righteousness, justice, and majesty may be known by all the peoples of the earth! Even our own salvation is not ultimately for us, but rather for God’s glory. Look at what Paul says in Galatians 1:15-16. “But when God, who from my mother’s womb set me apart and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, so that I could preach Him among the Gentiles” (Gal 1:15-16, HCSB). We are saved for a purpose!
The blessings of God are not to center on me but to spread through me for His glory. God’s glory is the reason for it all. Once we realize this truth it should change everything in our lives, our families, and our church. It should change the way we live, the things we value, and how we spend our time and resources. God is a righteous judge and He will judge sin. He is also a gracious and merciful God who has provided a means of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ! Let us spend our lives praising Him, for He is worth it! Let us mobilize our lives and resources so that His way may be known on earth and His salvation among all nations (Psalm 67:2, HCSB)
Author: Sherwon Williamson