Psalm 67

67:0Bible students do not know who wrote this psalm, or when. It uses two ideas from the Old Testament, one is from the Book of Numbers. The other is from the Book of Genesis. Here is Numbers 6:24-26. They are words that God spoke to Moses, for Moses to tell the people. Lord is a special name for God. People that agreed to love and obey him used it.

The Whole Wide World for Jesus

This is for the music leader.

He is to use stringed instruments.

It is a psalm and a song.

67:0Before verse 1 it says that the music leader must use stringed instruments. These are to make music. A psalm is a song with music from instruments as well as voices.

1 God, be gracious to us and bless us.

Make your face to shine on us.


67:1There are three words or groups of words in this verse that are very important. They are:

– Be gracious: this means ‘be kind when you do not have to be kind.’ God should punish (hurt) us because we do not obey his rules (sin). Because he is gracious, he does not do this. He gives us time to say that we are sorry. If we do this, then he forgives us. This means that he gives our sin to Jesus. When Jesus died on Calvary, he took our sin away. God punished Jesus for our sin. God will not punish us if we ask him to forgive us. Jesus never did anything wrong. He was not a sinner. But God punished him for our sin.

– Bless us: this means ‘give good things to us.’ In the Old Testament, the things are ‘harvest things.’ When you plant a seed, it grows into something. A seed in a woman grows into a baby. The right sort of seed in the ground grows into something that you can eat. When God blesses someone, it means that they have a lot of children and plenty to eat. The fruits that grow in the ground we call the ‘harvest.’ So, this verse asks God to give us children and food – and plenty of other things also!

– Make your face to shine: this means the same as ‘be gracious and bless.’ It is an example of Hebrew poetry. The two parts of the verse mean the same. When God is angry he looks away from us. When he is not angry he looks towards us. He is happy and his face shines! Maybe it means that God has a big smile on his face!!

2 Then people will know the things that you do on the earth.

People from every nation will know that you can save them.

67:2If the ‘us’ in verse 1 means the Israelites, verse 2 means that when God blesses the Israelites, then the whole world will know about God. It will also know that he can save them too. ‘Save’ here means ‘make safe while we live on this earth, and after we die.’

3 So people everywhere will say how great you are, God.

People everywhere will say how great you are.

67:3This verse is a ‘refrain’ or ‘chorus.’ It comes again in verse 5, and in a different way in verse 7.

4 The nations will be so very happy that they will sing aloud for joy!

Because you make fair decisions about everybody,

then you will be a guide to everyone on the earth.


67:4Again we find the idea that we found in verse 2. If people see that God is good to the Israelites, then he will be good to everyone! ‘People’ in this verse probably means ‘God's people, the Israelites.’ ‘The nations’ are people from other countries that are not Israelites. The word ‘joy’ means what you feel deep inside you when you are very happy.

5 People everywhere will say how great you are, God.

People everywhere will say how great you are.

67:5This repeats verse 3. We call this kind of repeat in a song a ‘refrain’ or ‘chorus.’ Christian songs often have choruses.

6 The ground has given us its harvest

and God, our God, will continue to bless us.

67:6In Hebrew poetry, the two parts of a verse often mean the same. Here is another good example. Remember, there was one in verse 1. ‘Bless’ means ‘Give a harvest’ – either children, or fruit, or many other things.

7 God – bless us!

Then everyone that lives on the earth will be afraid of you.

67:7God does many things that show that he is very powerful. This makes many people afraid. If people love God, they are not afraid in a bad way, but in a good way. We call this being ‘in awe’ of God. Awe is a good sort of fear! Fear is another word for ‘being afraid.’