Blessing and Fear

Psalm 67:6–7 “The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.”

Observation: This psalm of thanksgiving invokes God’s continued blessings upon Israel, that all the nations of the earth might see His salvation, justice, and bounty, and so fear Him.

Application: After repeated readings, I finally noticed what the last phrase of verse 7 was actually saying: that the purpose for which God pours out abundance and blessing is so the whole earth might fear Him.

How easy it is to skim over this psalm and assume in a self-satisfied way that the purpose of God’s blessing is surely to bring ease and plenty into my life. How natural it is to read into this passage motivation that is not there: the abundant harvest of verse 6 (“the earth has yielded its produce”) gives assurance of future blessing, and it’s for me.

I am quick to be filled with the joy of anticipation over current and future blessings as though God’s generous provision were all about meeting my needs. Wrong once again. He is as apt to meet my needs through lack as through abundance; He is as able to provide for me in the midst of deep loss as in lavish provision.

I gladly receive all His hand provides. I thank Him for overflowing abundance. But seasons wax and wane. Today’s comfort gives way to tomorrow’s challenges. God is in all and uses all to help me grow into Christlikeness, but He has a far greater purpose in heaping blessing upon Israel, or upon me: it is so all who are watching this outpouring would experience a rising fear of God. Not fear in the sense of running away from overwhelming danger, but simply to be in awe of One who is so very good, to revere Him in all His generous provision, to be stunned by how wonderful and magnificent He is, to honor and respect Him for His mighty attributes in meeting every need of His beloved.

This is not a fear that crouches in tall grass trembling at the sight of a stalking devourer. No, this is a fear that causes exaltation to rise in my spirit, culminating in a pouring forth of praise and worship forevermore.

Prayer: Father God, Jehovah, God of all provision and every blessing, I am in awe of You. I see Your loving hands as the source of every good thing, and my heart overflows with gratitude and joy. Thank You, Lord.

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