Desiring God National Conference 2011 John Piper- Let the Peoples Praise You, O God, Let All the Peoples Praise You!

Let the Peoples Praise You, O God, Let All the Peoples Praise You!

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Psalm 67 —

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, 2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.  5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

I invite you to turn to Psalm 67. This is the focus for this morning’s message. Before I read it, two comments:

  • This is the way we pray when we are besotted with God’s zeal for his praise among all the peoples of the world. One of the barometers of the fruitfulness of this conference is whether you are more inclined to pray like this now than you were three days ago.
  • One of the ways God alters the course of our lives is that when we hear a portion of God’s word, it takes root, and starts to grow, and doesn’t wither. It hangs on. It revives again and again. It survives from season to season. It does something to us. We can’t shake it. It holds us. It changes things. We can’t fully explain it. But it becomes a call of God on our lives. May the Lord make this such a text for you.

The way verses 1 and 2 relate to each other roots this psalm firmly to the way God is at work in history to save the world. Notice the connection between God’s blessing Israel (that’s the “us” of verse 1) and Israel’s being a blessing to the nations (verse 2): “May God be gracious to us and bless us [note those words!] and make his face to shine upon us, that [this is the aim of God in blessing Israel] your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.”

Rooted in God’s Covenant

This connection between being blessed and being a blessing to the nations means that the psalmist is rooting his prayer in Genesis 12:2–3. God promises to Abram, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

So this prayer in Psalm 67 is not hanging in the air with no connections with God’s historical way of saving the world. It is rooted in God’s covenant with Abraham. It brings that covenant up to date and prays it into reality. That is what we are supposed to do with God’s covenants—his promises. Bring them up to date and pray them into reality.

Decisively Fulfilled in Jesus

So let’s do that—into the 21st century.

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