When there are so many challenges made, so many insistent declarations that call into question what you see, what you hear, what you think, and yes, what you know, it is hard to be certain sometimes about anything.
While doubt is not unwelcome for the honest believer who is trying to understand, it is good to hear something that reminds the faithful follower about why their journey of faith was begun in the first place.
Listen now for echoes of truth, so that you may believe still.next >
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon 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, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.
Psalm 67next >
As a child, I loved to walk along the river with my dad and throw rocks into the water. After the initial splash, ripples would radiate outward until they reached the banks on either side. Today’s psalm is a bit like those ripples. The opening verse almost sounds self-centered at first glance – us, us, us!
This prayer for blessing isn’t selfish, though; it paraphrases the blessing given by Moses to Aaron when he became Israel’s first priest. The priest’s responsibility was to represent God’s love to the people. In the same way, Israel’s responsibility was to represent God’s love to all nations, and the New Testament teaches that Christians have that same charge. God has been gracious and made God's face to shine on us, and our response of praise should radiate like ripples to all people.
The rest of the psalm celebrates this swelling wave of praise, inviting believers to join the nations in joyful song.
Joshua Haysnext >
Gracious God, thank you for shining your face on me. Help my praise of you reflect that same grace to my neighbors and to all nations. Amen.next >
It is in the knowing
And in the unknowing
That the faithful find their way through.
It is in trust despite distrust,
Harmony despite discord,
And belief despite deceit
That Love finds its ultimate victory,
Unwilling and finally unable
To let go the beloved.
Joshua Hays recently graduated from divinity school with his Master of Divinity degree. He currently works at the Passport national office in Birmingham, Alabama, and has served churches there and in Tennessee.