When our children were babies, my husband and I would often go into the nursery while they slept just to gaze at their little bundled-up forms. They weren’t doing anything unusual—just breathing rhythmically and occasionally making little muffled sounds or yawning. But to our eyes, they were the most fascinating creatures in the world. Our faces literally shone with joy when we gazed at them.
Today’s psalm begins with the prayer that God will “make his face to shine upon us.” Like a child dependent upon her parent for every good thing in life, the psalmist looks to God for the abundance of God’s blessing.
The psalmist also asks that God’s ways may be known in the earth and God’s salvation may be known among all nations. The call to praise God is not limited here to the nation of Israel because God’s guidance and blessing extend to all nations on earth.
When we share our blessings, we help make God’s “saving power” known in all the earth so that everyone may be blessed. The psalmist invites us to envision a beautiful circle of blessing, praise, more blessing, and more praise.
In our world today, when so much divides us and nations look upon each other with distrust, the psalmist’s image can encourage us: One day all the nations will “be glad and sing for joy” and will recognize that God judges with equity. In our own churches and communities, we can demonstrate the same generosity and openness to all that God demonstrates to us.
God of all blessings, thank you for demonstrating your love to us through your abundant provision. Help us to use our blessings to make known your “saving power” to all those with whom we come in contact. Amen.
The kingdom of God is constantly advancing by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Acts, Paul is driven forward in his missionary activity by the Spirit. He moves westward to Macedonia, where a woman named Lydia becomes the first known convert in Europe. This becomes a base for subsequent mission. In Revelation, the Spirit shows John the new Jerusalem, in which the Lamb will provide light for all nations. Jesus’ disciples wrestle with the idea that he would leave them. He teaches them that he will not leave them alone; he will send the Holy Spirit to empower them. The psalmist does not mention the Spirit but declares that all nations, not just the Israelites, will sing for joy because of God’s saving power.
Read Acts 16:9-15. Recall a specific time when you have followed God. How did you discern God’s voice? What did you do to follow through on God’s call?
Read Psalm 67. How do you share God’s blessings with the world?
Read Revelation 21:10, 22–22:5. What would it mean for there to be no separation between nations? no separation between you and God?
Read John 14:23-29. When have you experienced the Holy Spirit as your Advocate?
Respond by posting a prayer.