Israel was a privileged nation, ruled by God Himself. Those who trusted in God within that nation once enjoyed His blessing. His face shone upon them (Psalm 67.1). God had promised Abram that he would be blessed and be made a blessing. The psalmist prays for God’s blessing upon Israel so that other nations would learn of His favor, trust Him as well, and experience salvation. Recognition of the blessings of God promotes fear and worship of God. It also gives us an eye for yet future, richer blessings under the reign of Messiah (v. 2).
When Psalm 67 was penned, the Gentiles were mostly in the darkness. They were living without God and enslaved to the god of this world. The psalmist looked forward to the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He desired that the Lord’s glory be seen among His own peculiar people – both Jew and Gentile. He prayed for material and spiritual blessings. He prayed for the earth to yield her increase and all the ends of the earth fearing God. While this may come to pass to some degree in the age in which we live, it will fully come to pass when the Lord Jesus returns to commence His millennial reign.
Verses 6-7 are future tense. The same confident expectation that kept the Jewish people expecting the coming of their Messiah now belongs to both Jewish and Gentile Christians who await the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It seems so difficult for us to break through the clouds of the temporal and know that the shining glory of God awaits us at any moment. Our confidence is in the glorious hope of our coming King.
Psalm 67 opens up the missionary heart of God. People who love God reach out to the lost in every age. God has always had an evangelistic remnant and He always will. “Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1.20).
If we are dedicated to Him, then we will rescue the perishing. Actually, God will rescue them through us. Compassion governs the heart of God. If we see people in temporal or physical need and it moves us, how much more so when we see their eternal, spiritual need.
God desires that we have a missionary heart. He is not willing that any unbeliever perish, but is so patient, merciful, and longsuffering that He wants all to come to repentance. Psalm 67 gives us hope that all of the nations will be governed by the One who judges righteously. It seems impossible that this would ever happen; the world is so set against God. But with God all things are indeed possible.
The fields were, are, and shall be white for harvest. The problem is want for laborers. So many people need to hear, but they will not hear without a preacher. What they hear will fall to the ground if it is not the Word of God empowered by the Spirit of God.
Our Lord Jesus teaches us, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors (John 4.35-38).
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5.16).