🌾May the peoples praise you, God!

Reading the Psalms, we often encounter missional references such as on earth, all the nations, and all the peoples. Intriguingly, these references seem to arise out of the context of the psalmist’s own prayers to God. For example, in Psalms 67:1, we hear the psalmist praying:
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

And all of a sudden, the psalmist takes an abrupt turn in his heart, calling the peoples in all the nations to rise up and worship God, proclaiming:
that your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.
May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you. – Psalm 67:2-3
Bordering Israel at the time were multitudes of foreign people who continually launched attacks, besieged their land, and sought to destroy Israel. Yet, the psalmist did not ask God to destroy these foreign nations. On the contrary, he yearned for all peoples in all the nations to come and worship God together! From a human perspective, such a prayer makes no sense. From the angle of God’s redemption plan, however, this prayer truly expresses the heart of God.
The truth is: God loves the world. His love for all peoples on the earth has never
changed, as shown by the clear missional focus running through the Old and New
Testaments. Today, we, too, are invited into God’s mission of calling all nations to praise and worship. From the lies of idols and the death of hell, God delivers us into his eternal kingdom as his sons and daughters in glory. This identity transcends race, citizenship, history, and culture, and restores the perfect image created by God in the very beginning.
Therefore, as we read the Psalms, we discover how each psalm is not only a personal prayer to God, but also words inspired by the Holy Spirit. Through each psalmist’s surrender to the Spirit, the psalms came to be and continue to reveal God’s will and guidance to us. As Paul describes in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NRSV):
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching,
for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient,
equipped for every good work.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank you for never changing in your love for all peoples in all the nations. As you have saved me in the past, in the same way you are reaching out to all those who have not yet believed in you. Holy Spirit, would you help me see your heart for missions and prepare me to be faithful in whatever role you have planned for me in your kingdom work. I pray for SOWIM to be empowered to complete what you have started in translating Bible study resources into English, Arabic, and Nepali. May your words reach the ends of the earth, and may all peoples in all the nations praise your name. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
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