Psalm 67(66) : 1 - 7 ( NRSV )

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah (1)
that your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.(2)
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.(3)
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah (4)
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.(5)
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, has blessed us.(6)
May God continue to bless us;
let all the ends of the earth revere him.(7)

Comment

     The speaker affirms the benefits of God's reigning. A first impression is that the speech appears to concentrate solely on the destiny of the Hebrew people alone - but then it becomes clear that God's intrusion on their behalf shows a pattern of blessing that awaits a wider world.
     A rich harvest occasions this thanksgiving song. Because of the experience of blessing, the speaker prays that YHWH's power-for-life should be further clarified to all. The only proper response to the greatness of YHWH's blessing, is such a universal chorus of praise (v.5). While the benefits of God's reigning are affirmed, the speaker appears to concentrate on the Hebrew people's destiny. YHWH'S intrusion on their behalf reveals the pattern of blessing that awaits a wider world. All the nations are put on notice because of YHWH's move. The human imagination tends to pride and self-sufficiency. The Hebrew religious attitude acknowledges the true source of the power-for-life and blessing. It is God who brings justice, fairness and guidance for living (v,4).
     The Psalm solidifies the new ordering of well-being that permits life. The new ordering comes from YHWH's powerful praise and action. Hebrew life is not at the mercy of other hostile powers. God's secure place of well-being overrides any threats. As this community experiences the reliability of trusting in God's power for life there is the confident belief that this blessing should properly extend to everyone.
 
footnotes:
Psalm 67 A petition for a bountiful harvest (v.7), made in the awareness that Israel's prosperity will persuade the nations to worship its God.
1. [ v.2 ] O God, be gracious: The people's petition echoes the blessing pronounced upon them by the priests. Cf Nb.6:22-27.


 

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