Psalm 67: Lessons Regarding the Reasons For You to Praise Jesus

Introduction: Sometimes, believers take Jesus’ blessings for granted. Psalm 67 reminds believers of the many reasons to praise Him. Through faith in His atoning death, Jesus offers you: (1) mercy, (2) salvation, (3) joy, (4) justice, and (5) provision. In response, you (and all the nations who will one day turn to Him), will give Him: (6) joyful praise, and (7) reverent worship. Psalm 67 also reminds believers that your blessings and praise were meant to be a light to the lost.

First, the psalmist pleaded with God to show His people mercy and shine His holy face upon them. Jesus came and fulfilled these requests. You should respond by praising Jesus for the mercy and grace that He made possible for you. Second, the psalmist praised God for the salvation that He makes possible. Jesus again made this possible through His sacrifice at the cross. In response, you should praise Jesus for your eternal salvation. Third, the psalmist proclaimed that God’s peoples would offer Him joyful songs of praise. You should also praise Jesus for the joy that He offers you and your eternal life. Your joy can provide an important light to those who are lost and without hope. Fourth, the psalmist praised God for His promise to bring divine justice to all the nations. Jesus is the King of Kings. You should also praise Him because He will reign with divine justice. Fifth, in response to God’s blessings, the psalmist proclaimed that His people would offer Him joyful songs of praise. To show your gratitude, Jesus also deserves your grateful songs of praise. Sixth, the psalmist praised God for the bountiful provision that He offers His people when they live according to His Covenant through Moses. Through faith in Jesus, you are an heir to all God’s Covenant promises. Jesus also deserves your praise for the blessings of His provision. Finally, the psalmist proclaimed that all of the people will one day fear God and submit to Him. Everyone will also one day bow before Jesus and submit to Him. His holy name also deserves your reverent praise and worship.

1. Mercy: Praise Jesus for the Mercy and Grace that He Offers You. Ps. 67:1.

  • The psalmist pleaded for God’s mercy and grace. Among the many reasons to praise God, He offers mercy and grace to those who turn to Him: “For the music director; with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song. 1 God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us— Selah” (Ps. 67:1). This pointed to Jesus’ mercy and grace.

  • Praise Jesus for His mercy and His forgiveness of your sins. The psalmist prayed for God’s grace (Ps. 67:1). The Jews celebrated that God forgave their sins to make His grace possible:  “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;”’  (Ex. 34:6; 33:19; Nu. 19:18).  “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.”  (Dt. 4:31).  “You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in mercy; and You did not abandon them.”  (Neh. 9:17).  If you say that you are without sin, the Bible says that the truth is not in you  (1 Jo. 1:8).  Yet, if you confess your sins, Jesus will forgive you: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 Jo. 1:9).  Are you praising Jesus for His mercy and grace?

Psalm 67:1 Prayer | Praises & Phrases

Praise Jesus for His mercy and grace1

  • Praise Jesus for making His Shekinah glory shine on you. The psalmist also asked for “His face to shine upon us.” (Ps. 67:1). “This verse is an adaptation of the priestly benediction (Numbers 6:24-26).” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers).2 In the priestly benediction, Aaron prayed over God’s people: “the LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD cause His face to shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His face to you, and give you peace.’” (Nu. 6:24-26). David also prayed for God’s face to shine upon His people: “Many are saying, ‘Who will show us anything good?’ Lift up the light of Your face upon us, LORD!” (Ps. 4:6). “Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me in Your faithfulness.” (Ps. 31:16). “God, restore us and make Your face shine upon us, and we will be saved.” (Ps. 80:3). Jesus fulfilled this request when He died for you and shared His glory with you: “and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Rom. 8:17). Are you praising Jesus for sharing His glory?

2. Salvation: Praise Jesus for the Salvation His Sacrifice Made Possible. Ps. 67:2

  • The psalmist praised God for the salvation that He offers. Among the many reasons to praise God is the offer of salvation that He makes available through faith in Jesus Christ: “That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.” (Ps. 67:2). This also foreshadows God’s plan for evangelism: “The psalmist passes on to a prayer for the conversion of the Gentiles, which shows that the Old Testament saints desired that their advantages might also be enjoyed by others. And many Scripture prophecies and promises are wrapped up in prayers: the answer to the prayer of the church is as sure as the performance of God’s promises.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 67).3

  • God’s blessings upon Israel were meant to be a light to the nations. The psalmist called God “the God of our salvation”: “By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and the farthest sea;” (Ps. 65:5). He meant for His salvation of Israel to be known throughout all the nations: “The LORD has made His salvation known; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.” (Ps. 98:2). “The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, so that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God.” (Is. 52:10). Israel was meant to reflect God’s light and be a beacon of light to the gentile nations: “He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the protected ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”’ (Is. 49:6).

  • Jesus came to fulfill God’s offer of salvation to all the nations. Jesus died at the cross to offer eternal salvation to all who believe in Him: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people,” (Titus 2:11). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40). “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies,”’ (John 11:25). “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”’ (John 14:6). How are you showing your gratitude to Jesus for your eternal salvation?

  • Praise Jesus as your Redeemer.  David called God “my Redeemer”.  (Ps. 19:14).  Isaiah also called God his Redeemer:  “This is what the LORD says, He who is your Redeemer,. . .,”  (Is. 44:24).  Jeremiah also professed faith in his Redeemer:  “Their Redeemer is strong, the LORD of armies is His name; . . .”  (Jer. 50:34).  Job also professed faith in his Redeemer in heaven:  “Yet as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last, He will take His stand on the earth.”  (Job 19:25).  Jesus came to fulfill these promises:  “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law,  . . .(Gal. 3:13).

  • Share the good news by fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission.  David previously stated that “I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You.”  (Ps. 22:22).  “I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty people.”  (Ps. 35:18).  He also said that a future generation would “come and will declare His righteousness” (Ps. 22:31).  This foreshadowed Jesus’ Great Commission to share His offer of salvation:  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matt. 28:18-20).  Are you sharing Jesus’ good news?

3. Joy: Praise Jesus for the Joy That He Offers You. Ps. 67:3-4a.

  • The psalmist praised God for the joy that He offers. In response to the many blessings that God offers, all those who turn to Him will one day sing praises and songs of joy: “May the peoples praise You, God; may all the peoples praise You. 4a May the nations be glad and sing for joy;” (Ps. 67:3-4a). Your joy for Jesus’ forgiveness and your eternal salvation should be part of your light to the lost. Your joy should reflect your gratitude.

  • Sing joyful songs of praise to Jesus. When you are feeling sad, alone, or depressed, take your eyes off yourself and give Jesus joyful praise. One day, all the nations will bow before Him and sing His praises: “All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.” Selah” (Ps. 66:4). “All nations whom You have made will come and worship before You, Lord, and they will glorify Your name.” (Ps. 86:9). “Who will not fear You, Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; for all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Rev. 15:4). Is your gratitude evident through your songs of joy?

4. Justice: Praise Jesus for His Promise of Divine Justice for All. Ps. 67:4b.

  • The psalmist praised God for His divine justice as the ruler over all. Among the many reasons to praise God include His promise to bring divine justice to all the nations: “4 . . . for You will judge the peoples with fairness and guide the nations on the earth. Selah” (Ps. 67:4b). “There could be no greater blessing to the nations than their attraction into God’s kingdom; nor, consequently, any event more worthy to be hailed with joyful acclaim, with songs of joy and thanksgiving.” (Pulpit Commentary on Ps. 67).4

  • God will be just and fair in His judgments.  David promised that God’s final judgments would be just and fair: “For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously. . . And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples fairly.”  (Ps. 9:4, 8). He knew that the King of Kings will reign forever:  “The LORD is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land.”  (Ps. 10:16).  “And people will say, ‘There certainly is a reward for the righteous; there certainly is a God who judges on the earth!’”  (Ps. 58:11). “When I select an appointed time, it is I who judge fairly.”  (Ps. 75:2).  “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before You.”  (Ps. 89:14). “Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples fairly.”’  (Ps. 96:10). “Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.”  (Ps. 97:2). “Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with fairness.”  (Ps. 98:9).  “But You, LORD, remain forever, and Your name remains to all generations.”  (Ps. 102:12).  Even when things feel unfair during your trials, you can trust God to ultimately be just and fair with you.

  • God did not exalt the Jews because of their personal righteousness.  Every person is a sinner (Ecc. 7:20).  Thus, Moses warned the Jews not to assume that God had exalted them because of their righteousness.  “Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you.  It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people.”  (Dt. 9:4-6).  Jesus also did not exalt you because of your righteousness. Jesus simply took the judgment that every sinner would otherwise receive. Thus, part of your gratitude should include giving thanks that Jesus took your punishment that His perfect justice would normally require.

5. Gratitude: Sing Songs of Grateful Praise for Jesus’ Blessings. Ps. 67:5.

  • The psalmist proclaimed that the peoples would praise God. In response to the many blessings that God offers, those who turn to Him will praise Him with grateful hearts: “May the peoples praise You, God; may all the peoples praise You.” (Ps. 67:5). In the Bible, words are repeated for emphasis: “These words are no vain repetition, but are a chorus worthy to be sung again and again.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 67).5

  • Praise Jesus for His blessings in your life. Whenever something goes well in your life, you should stop and give Jesus the praise that He deserves: “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (Jam. 1:17). Your praise should also be part of your testimony to nonbelievers: “Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ (Ps. 126:2). “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; then My people will never be put to shame.” (Joel 2:26). Are you praising Jesus for His blessings?

  • Praise God in every context. Praise and gratitude should not be limited to only the good times. As our example, David praised God in both good and bad times. For example, when Saul was trying to kill David, David wrote in one of his many psalms that he would always praise God: “A Psalm of David, when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed. I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Ps. 34:1). Likewise, when Daniel learned that the king had signed an order that would result in him being thrown in the lion’s den, he continued in his regular praises for God: “Now when Daniel learned that the document was signed, he entered his house (and in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and offering praise before his God, just as he had been doing previously.” (Dan. 6:10). As another example, Paul worshiped even when he was jailed for his faith: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;” (Eph. 5:20). Do you worship God in both good and bad times?

6. Provision: Praise Jesus for the Blessings of His Provision. Ps. 67:6.

  • The psalmist praised God for the blessing of providing for His people’s needs. For those who live in a covenant relationship with God, He also promises to provide for their needs: “The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us.” (Ps. 67:6). “When the earth knows God’s way, God’s salvation, and God’s praise, then she will yield her increase. The fruit will come forth; the appointed purpose for the earth will be fulfilled. Praise God! God created us to know His way, His salvation, and His praise. When we do this the earth itself is happy, because the people of the earth are doing what God created them to do. God’s natural order for creation and mankind is then honored, and blessing is the result. It is just like using something for the exact use and in the exact way that the manufacturer designed.” (David Guzik on Ps. 67). (emphasis original).6

Praise Jesus for His abundant provision in your life7

  • God promised to provide for His people if they walked in faith-led obedience.  If the Jews followed God’s Covenant, He promised rain for their produce to grow:  “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time.  You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.”  (Lev. 26:3-5).  Rain is a symbol of God’s blessings  (Dt. 11:10-17; 32:1-3; 1 Ki. 8:34-35; 18:41-46).  Thus, the blessing of provision is sometimes called “raiment.”  In terms of their food needs, the Jews would also live securely within the land:  “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.”  (Dt. 28:5).  “If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land;”  (Is. 1:19).  “Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce.” (Ps. 85:12). Because of Isaac’s faith and obedience, God blessed his harvest 100 fold  (Gen. 26:12).  Through faith in Jesus, you are an heir to all of God’s Covenant promises: “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Gal. 3:29). When you pursue His righteousness, Jesus also promises to provide for your food, water, and clothes (Matt. 6:33).  Are you pursuing His will to receive His full blessings?

  • Show your gratitude by praising Jesus for His provision. This psalm is important because it emphasizes that your blessings are not just for your own enrichment. They are also part of Jesus’ plan for His light to shine through you: “The faithful perceive that God’s blessings have a purpose, and so their focus should be on using these gifts from God to bring people to faith. This may be summarized fairly: God blesses His people in order that the people of the world will come to faith in Him.” (Allen Ross, A Commentary of the Psalms: Volume 2 (42-89), Kregel Academic (2013) p. 460) (italics original).

7. Worship: Give God the Reverent Praise and Worship He Deserves. Ps. 67:7.

  • The psalmist proclaimed that the peoples would worship God. In response to His holy character and blessings, all the nations will submit to Him in reverence and worship Him: “God blesses us, so that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.” (Ps. 67:7). One day, every person will submit to: “For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11).

  • Worship Jesus and give Him the glory He deserves. In David’s psalm of thanksgiving, he urged everyone to give God the glory that He is due through reverent worship: “Ascribe to the LORD, you families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the LORD in holy attire. Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Let the heavens be joyful, and the earth rejoice; and let them say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns.”’ (1 Chr. 16:28-31). “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Ps. 22:27). “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.” (Ps. 33:8). “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Ps. 22:27). “Worship the LORD in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth.” (Ps. 96:9). “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” (Josh. 4:24). “hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and act in accordance with all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name.” (1 Kgs. 8:43). Are you praising Jesus’ holy name?

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