>Blessing and Promise – Psalm 67

>After years of sporadic work, I’m finally coming down to the wire with my book on early infant loss. I’ve made and missed many self-imposed deadlines on it, but my prayer now is to submit it before the end of July.

It has been an extremely difficult book to write, not only due to the heart-wrenching stories shared by those who grieved the loss of an infant, but also because of my own fears and failings. These emotional issues, coupled with practical aspects (finding time, organizing material, determining language), repeatedly stalled the process and brought me to previously unknown levels of dependence, humility, and trust.

I am continually amazed how God providentially provides just the right scripture for situations in my life. As I assess my infant loss book’s progress this morning, I am touched by the praise-filled words of the next Psalm in my meditational blog series, Psalm 67 (ESV):

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!

This short Psalm begins with the Aaronic blessing from Numbers 6:24-26, but it doesn’t seek God’s blessing simply for its own sake. It seeks God’s blessing so that God’s “way may be known on earth” and his “saving power among all nations” (2).

The Psalm then asks God to bring all people to praise him, to be glad and sing for joy, because God is the supreme justice who judges “with equity” and “guides the nations” (3-5).

Psalm 67 ends with an affirmation of God’s blessing through the earth’s “yielded…increase” (6). That abundant increase is obvious when driving beside fields of tall corn with deep green leaves, past blooming roadsides lined with white Queen Anne’s lace, blue chicory, and pink sweet clover. These bright reminders assure us that God has already granted his blessing in this earth.

And his blessing is also promised for the future: “God shall bless us” (7a, emphasis added). Looking this morning at what I’ve written in my book on infant loss and how close I am to its completion, God’s promise seems extraordinarily personal.

We can each see ways God’s evidences his blessing on our earth and in our lives. Truly, we can rejoice with the Psalmist and ask God to “let allt he ends of the earth fear him!” (7b).


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