Everyone and every nation come and worship God! Psalm 67 is a call for all the earth to sing praise to God.
Psalm 67, like Psalm 54, is a Menorah Pattern psalm. A Menorah Pattern occurs when there are 7 items in a 3 - 1 - 3 pattern. It is named after the Jewish menorah which has 7 candles.
The Menorah pattern is also usually chiastic in structure. Chiastic structure means that the thoughts are symmetrical working from the outside inward. In Psalm 67 the Menorah Pattern looks like this:
Bess Us! (Verse 1)
So the Earth Will Know (Verse 2)
Praise God (Verse 3)
The Nations Rejoice (Verse 4)
Praise God (Verse 5)
The Earth is Blessed (Verse 6)
God Will Bless Us (Verse 7)
Even the three lines of the central verse are chiastic in structure. In Hebrew it reads:
Let the nations rejoice and sing for joy
for You judge the peoples with equity
and on earth you guide nations
For more details on the amazing numerical complexity of this psalm see Labuschagne's analysis of Psalm 67.
The psalmist begins this song with a plea for God to bless Israel. But this plea isn't a selfish request for God to make them rich and famous. The psalmist wants God to bless Israel so that other nations will see and know about God's great saving power.
What a great prayer! "God bless me so that I can praise your name among my friends and relatives."
I love how practical the psalms are. God wants to bless us so that we can then tell others about the great things He has done for us. Of course, that assumes that you will praise him. Are you praising God for the things He does for you? When God does something great, do you let others know about it?
The Nations Rejoice
Praise! Rejoice! Be glad!
Why? Because our God is a good judge. He is fair and he is a trustworthy guide.
The center of this psalm is enveloped with praise. Verses 3 and 5 are identical praise refrains crying out for all people to praise God.
At the very center we find the key thought for the psalm: God is a fair ruler and guide. God is always fair in what He does and His guidance is good.
We Are Blessed
This short psalm closes by reminding us that God will bless us. Never forget that God has good things planned for you if you continue to trust in Him.
Interestingly the psalm ends with what seems like an out of place statement in this praise focused psalm:
"let all the ends of the earth fear Him."
What is that doing here? Why end with a warning to fear God?
I believe that this last statement is both a warning and reminder. The phrase "fear God" is often used in the Bible as a way to describe those who respect God enough to obey him. Our God is a just and fair God. This is both a good thing and a fearful thing. All of us should fear the justice of God, especially when we willfully sin against Him.
This reverent fear of God's justice should help keep us living in obedience to God so that He can bless our lives. But even when we do sin, we know that we can go to Him for forgiveness and a renewal of our relationship with Him. So our "fear" is not a terrified fear that God might capriciously zap us with a lightning bolt or that we might mistakenly incur God's permanent wrath, but rather a respectful recognition that God does punish those who willfully continue in rebellion.
Why don't you pray this prayer for yourself? Ask God to bless you so that you can praise His name to those around you. Then, when you see the blessing, remember to tell other about what He has done for you.
Of course, we are already blessed. We are saved, we are adopted, we are loved and we are given many great and precious promises. So we don't have to wait to praise His name. Start praising Him today!
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
Let all the peoples praise you!