Praise may affect the emotions of a Christian, but praise is not just an emotional experience. The attributes of praise are, to speak out, to sing, or to confess. Praise is the expression of truth as revealed to us in and through God’s Word. It is the communication of what God has taught us about himself and his creation. Praise is especially seen in the nature and saving work of the Lord. God’s grace and love are revealed in our Praise. In other words, what are we expressing about our Lord and his works in our praise? Our praise always goes before the Lord for it is good (excellent, beautiful, precious): “Praise ye the Lord; for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely (suitable)” (Psalm 147:1).
The term ‘glory’ adds to the word ‘praise’ the depth of the character of the person or thing we are talking about. To glorify God is to show the honor and majesty of his character, and the greatness of his works. His glory is truly revealed in the Son. He prayed, “Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” (John 17:1). Thus the heaviness and darkness of our sin without Christ weigh heavily as we have been judged by the Lord: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). So we rejoice and give God the full glory, for what was lacking in us was not lacking in Christ. We stand in his stead, with much “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (4:11).
We should receive Psalm 67 as a prayer which claims the coming and establishment of the Kingdom of God in this world. It is a Psalm which gives meat to the words which Christ taught us, saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, the kingdom come, thy will be done.” Those who belong to the Father, having been adopted into his household, receive blessings of grace and strength in the midst of a warring world.
We come before our Father with knees bent that we might know his blessing. The blessing that we are seeking is that God will “be merciful unto us,” that he will show much favor toward us in Christ. The mercy and loving-kindness that we need comes when our Lord causes “his face to shine upon us.” For the mercy we need comes from the very presence of our Lord. “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers” (1 Peter 3:12). When the Lord causes his countenance to shine upon his people they are most blessed. Our prayer for mercy should always be for the whole church. It is “Our Father” and his kingdom on earth that give acceptance to our prayers. We desire all of God’s people to know his presence; “Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart” (Ps. 4:6–7).
When we pray that the face of the Lord shine upon his church, we are to expect a certain result: “That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” This is the spirit of true evangelism that, not only will people be added to the number, but that they grow in the knowledge of the Lord and the life he would have us live. There is moral fiber to evangelism. For, by the divine authority of Christ Jesus in heaven and in earth, we obey the command, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations . . . Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always” (Matt. 28:18–20). The face of the Lord is always upon us in the keeping of this commission.
Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is “the saving health among all nations.” The source of saving grace, our salvation, is found in Christ alone. Through Christ alone we come to the Father (John 14:1–7). For the Son gives “eternal life to as many as” the Father has given him; “And this is life eternal, that they might know” the Father, “the only true God, and Jesus Christ” whom the Father has sent (John 17:2–3).
Therefore, the Psalmist calls the people to praise God, to acknowledge him and confess him as he has revealed himself in our salvation: “Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.” Out of every nation will come his people, and they will “be glad and sing for joy”! Why? Because the Lord shall “judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.” We have the Lord as our Governor, our Sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords. It is true that the wicked will feel the wrath of his judgment. But those who live in the righteousness of the true King and his moral law will find a character of life that is victorious and joyful.
Thus, the people of God will praise the Lord. “O God; let all the people praise thee!” As the people of the kingdom of God on this earth continue to praise, to acclaim and proclaim the Triune God in voice and life, the earth shall “yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.”
We may wonder at times if the Kingdom of the Son is advancing on this earth; for we are faced with much of the negative through all types of media. Leaders depend upon themselves and their laws to guide them through tragedy after tragedy. However, we look through the eyes of the Lord and his Word. We must ask ourselves what our Lord is doing and how shall we live as subjects of the King. As we receive blessings from our Lord, we hold out this grace before the world. And, because our Lord is blessing his people, “all the ends of the earth shall fear him.” His church shall be victorious. The wars against the church of our Lord and Savior only confirm that his face is shining upon us that he is the King which goes forth in this world, leading his people in the way they should go.
The dragon may blaspheme the name of the Lord through the warlords of this earth. However, “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity; he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Rev. 13:10). Jesus Christ is the King of kings today. He is the one who is called “Faithful and true, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. … And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:11–16).
God shall bless us and the earth shall fear him! Let all of us continue to praise him! In praise we must stand strong. Therefore, “take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:13). “Be but so faithful as to do thy best, and God is so gracious that he will pardon thy worst. David knew this gospel-indulgence when he said, ‘Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy commandments,’ (Psalm 119:6) – when my eye is to all the commandments. … so stands the saint’s heart to all the commands of God; he presseth on to come nearer and nearer to full obedience. Such a soul shall never be put to shame” (Wm. Gurnall).
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