Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our Gratitude, God’s Evidence

[To the chief Musician on Neg'inoth, A Psalm or Song]

1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

3 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

4 O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

5 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

6 Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.

7 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

—Psalm 67 KJV Bible

This is a psalm of thanksgiving. It asks God's continued blessing on Israel so that the nations may experience His salvation, justice, and bounty, and so praise Him.

We do not know who wrote the psalm or when it was written. The song uses two concepts from the Old Testament. The first concept is from Numbers 6:24-26, where God's blessing is promised to the people of Israel. The second concept is from Genesis 12:3, where God told Abram—later renamed Abraham—that through him, God would bless all the families of the world.

The psalm description says it is to be performed on "Neginoth." This Hebrew expression is interpreted as "stringed instruments." this direction is used in Psalm 4, 6, 54, 55, 61, 67, and 76.

The Hebrew "selah" is used in verses 1 and 4 of the psalm. The word is thought to be a musical notation to the choir director and musicians. It loosely translates as a break in the song or an instruction to pause and reflect, perhaps with a musical interlude. Some translators suggest the phrase "stop and listen." Others say that a more concise translation would be "let those with eyes see and with ears hear." The word "selah" has been compared to the word "amen" in that it stresses to the listener the importance of the preceding passage. The word "selah" is used in thirty-nine of the psalms.

In verses 1 and 2, the psalmist asks God to bless His people. The psalmist explains that by God's evident blessings on His people, all nations to notice and understand that God has done this. The prophet Isaiah also mentions this (Isaiah 52:10).

In verses 3 through 5, the psalmist encourages the people to praise and give thanks to Gods. God will govern and guide not only the righteous, but all peoples of the earth.

In verses 6 and 7, the psalmist notes their abundant harvest; a sign to the people that they were obeying God's commands and that God was pleased with them (Leviticus 26:4). Through the blessing of God's people, all of the world will recognize God.

Father, You have blessed me greatly, though I may not always show it. Help me to demonstrate more openly that I have been blessed and that I am thankful for all that You have done for me. By my life, I pray that others may see You.


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