Psalm 67

A Prayer of Blessing

For the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Psalm. A song.

1 May God be merciful to us, bless us,
and cause his face to shine on us.


2 That your way may be known on earth,
and your salvation among all nations,
3 let the peoples praise you, God.
Let all the peoples praise you.
4 Oh let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you will judge the peoples with equity,
and govern the nations on earth.


5 Let the peoples praise you, God.
Let all the peoples praise you.
6 The earth has yielded its increase.
God, even our own God, will bless us.
7 God will bless us.
All the ends of the earth shall fear him.

World English Bible

How do you see God blessing the world?

This psalm (especially 67:2) mirrored the themes found in Numbers 6:24-26. The psalmist prayed to experience God's blessing and his presence (i.e., "his face.") The difference between the blessing in Numbers and this psalm lie in the universal nature of the blessing. In Numbers, God blessed Israel through the priests. In Psalm 67, God's rule and guidance were universal (67:3, 5) ; by extension, so was his blessing. The refrain of the psalm (67:4, 6) was a rousing call for universal worship ("Let the peoples praise you!"); this refrain could be added to the end of 67:8 in a coherent fashion.

Why wasn't the refrain added? 67:7-8 can be translated as past tense ("...the earth yielded its harvest...God still blesses us) or as an active petition ("may the earth yield its harvest...may God bless us still"). In the first case, the great harvest was proof of God's blessing, so the peoples of the earth should praise YHWH. In the second case, the psalmist could have implored God after a poor harvest so the nations could praise him. Adding the refrain made more sense after a good harvest than a poor one; proof of blessing has greater weight than mere petition.

As it stood, the psalm ended with a call for universal respect; the ends of the earth should revere our God because he ruled over all creation!

As we pray for God's blessing, let us extend that prayer to all peoples, friend and foe alike. Let us remember God is Lord of all, not just our personal deity.

Take time this week to pray for God's blessing for the world. Praying a rosary for world peace is not a bad idea.