The movie trailer came by me too quickly and I have, unfortunately, forgotten its name but the scenes were unforgettable. It followed a wealthy young man who became a quadriplegic after being hit by a motorcycle. Dependent on others for his care, an effervescent young lady was hired to bring cheer to him. She did many things to brighten his days, including wearing silly outfits. Yet he always had a sullen face.
How do we see the face of God as He looks down upon us? Is He entrenched on His throne, surly and mean-spirited? Psalm 67 will have nothing of it. Listen in.
O God of Our Salvation To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song. May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 2that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah 5Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 6The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 7God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
Psalm 67 is a short burst of blessings sought and given, and a song that richly teaches us about worship, praise, and life before the face of God.
First, there is the joy of praise. “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!” is sung twice in Psalm 67. “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,” chimes the unnamed Psalmist. From Psalms 65 and 66 we learned praise is “not a complement to God but the consummation of joy.” Fueled by thanksgiving, praise is a shout and the “occupation of the soul with the blessings of God.”
Many congregations sing a time-honored doxology—a concise, energetic praise song acknowledging God’s goodnesses and sovereignty. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” Worship—praise—life before the smiling face of God is doxological.
Second, worship-praise-life before the face of God is missional and evangelistic—“that your way may be known on earth” (v. 2). It is dangerous and liberating to “be glad and sing for joy” before a watching, needy world.
Last, worship-praise-life is prophetical. It points to a time soon-coming when “all the ends of the earth fear him!” Yes, one day “every knee will bow…every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11). Reverential awe (fear) will fill heaven and earth. I can’t wait!
Predictably, as the movie progressed, the quadriplegic and his lovely entertainer fell in love. His sadness and sad face turned to unending smiles.
Do you worship and live with the face of God smiling upon you? What does Christ see on your face?