The psalm lists at least three gifts: the blessing of a healthy harvest (v. 6), the blessing of delivery from national enemies (v. 2) and the blessing of God's special relationship with God's people (v. 1). Simply put, the Old Testament sees blessings as (1) God's presence and (2) physical gifts. We've tended to spiritualize God's blessings, limiting God to the obviously great gifts of forgiveness of sins, removal of guilt, and the sure gift of eternal life through Jesus. But there also is the harvest and its present day equivalents.
It took something like five months after my retirement to sense the dimension I had been missing. One day I was walking our small dog down a gravel road. It was late Fall and suddenly near the Manitowoc River I noticed—I was greeted by—thirty yards of ten foot bushes now stripped of leaves. The shining sun glittered with colors of bronze, yellow, gleaming brown, glittering gold as it reflected off of what I thought to be ordinary brush. The beauty of nature warmed and amazed me; it connected me with physical blessing. I was enabled to experience that part of the call to see lilies of the field and birds of the air and to ponder the reality that the God who cares for these also cares for us. In that seeing often anxiety is replaced with comfort and we are indeed blessed.
Psalm 67 (NRSV)
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, (Selah)
2 that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. (Selah)
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.
7 May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.
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