Psalm 67 celebrates and anticipates God’s promise of a worldwide harvest of souls.
The opening of this psalm echoes the blessing of Aaron, the first priest of Israel (Numbers 6:24-26). He prayed that God would bless his people by being gracious to them and by letting his face shine on them (Psalm 67:1). As God’s face shone on Israel, Israel would then reflect his light to countries that were still in the dark and strangers to God. In other words, these nations could look to Israel and see what God is like, and learn about the God who wants to bless them. So over and over the people of Israel cry that the world would know and praise God (Psalm 67:3, 5).
The song compares God being known on earth to an abundant harvest (Psalm 67:2 ,6). The psalmist believes history will end with a harvest festival. Not just of food, but of people finally knowing God’s gracious salvation for themselves. As people reflect the light of God’s face, God's blessings spread from person to person and nation to nation, who then also begin to reflect the light of God. Eventually the entire world will become a ripe field covered with people who shine like God (Psalm 67:6). Israel’s current abundant harvest anticipates the numberless worshippers God intends to save (Psalm 67:7).
At the center of the song is the reason the nations are glad and sing for joy—because God rules and guides them (Psalm 67:4). He rules impartially and guides wisely, so that his global Kingdom celebrates with joy.
Where is the Gospel?
Seeing God’s face was a dangerous endeavor for Israel. When Moses asked to see God’s face, God told him he would die if he saw him in his full power (Exodus 33:20). So instead God gave Moses and Aaron a tabernacle, a tent, where God’s power was present but not in its fullness.
But now God has graciously revealed his face in Jesus. God’s resplendent perfection shines in the face of Jesus which makes Jesus God’s answer to Aaron's prayers (Hebrews 1:3). He came to shine God’s light on all people, bless the world and usher in a global harvest. Aaron’s blessing comes true for everyone who recognizes God’s face in Jesus and follows him. He is the way to a life of blessing and rejoicing (John 14:6). Jesus is the light to all nations still in the dark (John 8:12).
Jesus is also the one who harvests the world and gathers peoples from every nation to himself (Revelation 14:16). When talking to his disciples Jesus saw the world as ripe for harvesting (John 4:35-36). Since God’s face was fully seen in him, all peoples could finally see clearly the God who wants to bless them in his new global Kingdom.
Jesus is also the just ruler who guides every nation in the light and knowledge of God (Psalm 2, Revelation 15:3-4). And eventually, even the sun will be unnecessary because the light of God shining in the face of Jesus will overpower it and everyone will walk by his light (Revelation 21:23-24) and see the face of God (Revelation 22:4-5). And forever all people will know and praise God.
See for Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who blesses the world with a harvest of salvation. And may you see Jesus as the shining face of God who rules and guides people from every nation into knowing God and enjoying his blessings.