A Universal New Year's Prayer
Psalm 67:1-7
God be merciful to us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine on us; Selah.…

I. THAT FRESH SUPPLIES OF DIVINE GOODNESS ARE CONSTANTLY NEEDED BY MAN. "God be merciful unto us," etc. The benediction which the Almighty Himself put of old into the mouth of the high priest, to be pronounced on Israel, is the spirit and model of these words (Numbers 6:24-26). Hence our text is Divine, and may be used with reverent and unbounded confidence. It invokes fresh communications of His love. "Bless us." Has not God always blessed us, through the whole of our life? Verily. Still we need a continuation. A rest in the flow of His beneficence would be our ruin, would terminate our being in black extinction. The words invoke also a fresh assurance of His love. "Cause His face to shine upon us." The face is the symbol of the soul and the expression of its deepest things. Hence the meaning of the prayer is, Assure us of Thy love. This conscious dependence of the soul upon God is the very essence of religion.

II. THAT THE UNIVERSAL DIFFUSION OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE TO MAN. "That Thy way may be known," etc. What are the things relating to God, a knowledge of which is so devoutly sought for the race?

1. His general method of action. "Thy way." God has a method by which He gives His harvests: the farmer must practically recognize and follow it, if he would have his labour rewarded by abundant crops. God has a method by which He restores exhausted energies and impaired health; the physician must follow that method, if he would succeed in his profession. God has a method by which He imparts knowledge to mankind; the inquirer must follow it, if he would obtain intelligence and wisdom. And He has a method by which fallen souls may be redeemed; and this method must be followed before salvation can be reached.

2. His special method of salvation. "Thy saving health among all nations." God has a method of moral restoration. He has salvation, He has health for the diseased, liberty for the captive, knowledge for the ignorant, pardon for the guilty, and immortality for the dying. And He has a method for imparting this salvation. What is that? (John 6:40).


1. God judges the nations righteously.

2. God leads the nations on. "And govern the nations upon earth." Margin, "lead." God does not drive men, but leads them. He leads them, as a commander does his army, against the mighty hosts of evil principles, institutions, and habits.

IV. THAT SPIRITUAL EXCELLENCE IS CONDUCIVE TO THE TEMPORAL INTERESTS OF MAN. "Then shall the earth yield her increase." The language implies that it is when "all the people praise God," that all the people shall have temporal plenty, that "the earth shall yield her increase." It is not difficult to see how spiritual excellence is conducive to temporal prosperity. Let the people be industrious, then they will put forth those efforts by which worldly good is generally obtained. Let them be temperate and economical, then self-indulgence and extravagance, which are the prolific sources of poverty, will cease.



Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song.} God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

WEB: May God be merciful to us, bless us, and cause his face to shine on us. Selah.

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