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Monday November 12 – Singing of mission (2): Blessed to be a blessing

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. – Psalm 67:4

Scripture reading: Psalm 67

The next Psalm we turn to is Psalm 67. It begins with familiar words, reminding us of the Aaronic benediction in Numbers 6: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us” (v. 1).

This is a prayer for blessing, a prayer for the blessing that most specifically belongs to Israel in particular. The Aaronic benediction was something that belonged to and was proclaimed for Israel as God’s special covenant people. It was their special blessing. That makes the next verse all the more striking: “That your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations” (v. 2).

The particular blessing that was for Israel was ultimately not just for Israel. Israel was to seek blessing from the Lord so that the nations would come to know God’s ways. Israel was tempted to think the blessing was just for them. This psalm challenged them to remember that they were blessed to be a blessing.

The same thing is true for the church today. When God blesses us, it is not so we can keep that blessing for ourselves, but so that we can be a blessing to those around us. In Christ, we are the true children of Abraham and that means that the calling of Israel to be a light to the nations is being fulfilled in the church today.

Suggestions for prayer

Praise God for blessing Israel in such a way that we have received blessings in Christ and then pray that we would continue to be a blessing to others.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Nick Smith is pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho.

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