Missions Emphasis Month –October 2011 Overall Theme: The Glory of God: The Reason for Missions Overall Theme Verse: Psalm 67:1-7 3rd Sunday Message (October 16, 2011) Prepared by: Rev. Dr. Jaime Maing
Message Title - “The Glory of God: The Desired Response of the Nations” Scripture Passage - Psalm 67:3 &5 3
May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.
May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.
Introduction (For the preacher: You may start with a story, poem, quotation, or current events to get the attention of the people.) Review Our theme for this Mission Emphasis Month is, “The Glory of God: The Reason for Missions” based on Psalm 67. So far we already studied, meditated upon and hopefully put into practice 2 important principles, namely, the glory of God is the reason for mission and the glory of God is the intention for blessing the nations. Today our topic is about the glory of God the desired response of the nations based on Psalm 67:3 and 5. Exposition of Psalm 67:3 and 5 According to Willem A. VanGemeren1, Psalm 67 is a psalm of blessing and the psalm ascribing kingship to Yahweh. It contains a prayer for God’s blessings to the nations. Clearly this psalm is a missionary psalm, since it looks forward to the rule of God over Jews and Gentiles. The structure of the Psalm is as follows: A - Prayer for God’s blessings (vs. 1-2) B - Prayer for inclusion of the nations (vs.3) C – Prayer for the rule of God (vs. 4) B – Prayer for inclusion of the nations (vs. 5) A – Prayer for God’s blessings (vs. 6-7) 1
1991, pp. 439-442, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Zondervan
Today we will study verses 3 and 5, which is a prayer for inclusion of the nations. Herein the Psalmist prays, “May the people praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. According to Warren Wiersbe2 the Psalmist prays to God that His blessings of salvation will flow out to the Gentiles because they are part of God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). A blessing is a gift from God that glorifies His name, helps His people, and through them reaches out to help others who will glorify God’s name. God blesses us in order to bless others. Verse 3 talks about the response of the peoples of the earth to God’s blessing of salvation. Verse 5 talks about the response of the people of the earth to God’s rule of justice and guidance. Thus, the blessing of God gives rise to praise (vs. 3 and 5). The praise of Israel lies in the expectation that the nations too will join in praises to God. The praise of God is in response to his saving involvement with His people. When salvation is extended to the nations, they will join in praising God. Timeless Truth/Principle What timeless truth or principle is taught from Psalm 67:3 and 5? The passage teaches the readers --including us today-- that God is praised and glorified when people receive God’s salvation. The peoples of the earth who received God’s blessing of salvation will praise and glorify God. They will bring glory and honor to God. Is this true? Is it true that God is praised and glorified when people receive God’s salvation? Do people praise and glorify God when they are saved? Is God exalted when people are saved? Our answer is, “Yes” because the Bible says so. When God saved Israel from the pursuing Egyptian soldiers by dividing the Red Sea, allowing the people of Israel to cross safely and in the process drowning the hounding soldiers as they tried to follow through the Red Sea, Moses and the people Israel praised God through their singing and dancing. We find this is Exodus 15:1-2 where it reads: “1Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted. The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him.” In Luke 15 we read 3 parables, namely, the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coins, and the lost son. Twice Jesus said, “I tell you the truth in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent” (vs. 7). “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (vs. 10).
2007, p. 948, in The Wiersbe Bible Commentary
In Exodus 15 the people of Israel praised and exalted the Lord God together after they experienced God’s salvation. In Luke 15 the angels in heaven rejoiced and praised God for every sinner who repents and believes in Jesus Christ. In Revelation 7:9-12 we read that at the end of time every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues together with the angels of heaven will be standing before the Lamb praising, glorifying and exalting God on high. Listen to what is says in Rev. 7:912; “9After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no-one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” “11All the angels were standing round the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying: Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!” The Bible is clear. God is praised and glorified when people are saved and experience God’s blessing of salvation. They praise and glorify God for who He is and what He has done for them. The peoples’ response to God’s blessing of salvation is praise. Practical Application What shall we do then so that the peoples of the earth will receive God’s salvation and in response praise and glorify God? Here are 3 practical applications: 1. We should pray to God (Ps. 67: 1, 3, 5). The Psalmist prays to God, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and makes His face to shine upon us. May the peoples of the earth praise You, O God and may the nations be glad and sing for joy.” Based on this prayer we notice the 2 foci of the Psalmist’s prayer. First, he focuses his prayer on the people, Israel (vs. 1), of which includes himself. Second, he focuses his prayer on all the nations or peoples of the earth, that is, outside of Israel (vs. 3-5). We should pray for two groups of people then. First, let us pray for the saints, the Christians. Pray that God will be gracious to all Christians. Pray that God will bless all Christians so that they will bless others and then in turn God gets the glory and honor and praise. Pray that God’s face will shine upon all Christians so that the peoples of the earth will see the glory of God in them.
Second, let us pray for the sinners, the peoples of the earth. Let us pray that all nations of the earth will be glad and will sing for joy to the Lord. Let us pray that all peoples of the earth will be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ so that they will praise and glorify God. Let us pray for God to rule over all the earth so that the peoples of the earth will experience justice and mercy and then will praise and glorify God. In Matthew 9:35-38 we read, “35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36
When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” We should pray to the Lord of Harvest to send forth more workers to the harvest fields.” Paul asked the Ephesians and Colossians to pray for him and the saints who were proclaiming the message of the gospel to the Gentiles. In the context of spiritual warfare, Paul urged the Ephesians to pray, “18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” In Colossians 4:2-4 Paul wrote, “2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” Illustration: [Use your local stories] Challenge: We should organize more prayers, prayer groups, and prayer activities in our respective local churches. Let us pray for the saints that they may boldly share the Word of God and for the sinners that they may praise the Lord as they receive the blessing of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
2. We should shine for God. One of the prayers of the Psalmist is for the Lord God to make his face upon Israel including the Psalmist himself --“May God...make His face shine upon us so that your ways may be know on earth, your salvation among all nations.” “Make His face shine upon us.” What does this mean? Let us answer the question by looking at what the Bible says. Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights with Lord at Mt. Sinai to receive the Law of the Lord written in 2 tablets of stone. When
Moses came down Aaron and the people Israel saw the face of Moses shining radiating the glory of God (Exodus 34:27-35). Paul interpreted the brightness on Moses’ face as the reflection of the glory of God on Moses’ face. Moses shines for God. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:7-11: “7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9
If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!” In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus said to his disciples, “14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Jesus commanded His disciples to allow the glory of God in them to shine before men by doing good works so that men and women will praise the Father in heaven. To sum it up, praying that God “will make his face to shine upon us” means we are asking God to reveal His glory in Christ through us so that the peoples of the earth may know His ways and His salvation among all nations. In short, we become the light shining in the darkness (Matthew 5:15) and the living letters of Christ known and read by all men (2 Corinthians 3:1-3). Yes, peoples will see the glory of God in Christ through us and in response the peoples of the earth praise and glorify God! Illustration: [Use your own story to illustrate the above point.] Challenge: Make your life shine before men by doing good to them so that they will see the glory of God in Christ Jesus through you and they will glorify God. 3. We should make God’s salvation known to all. Another reason why the Psalmist prays to God “to be gracious to them and bless them and make His face shine upon them”, is so that His salvation may be known among all nations. We can make God’s salvation be known to all nations by proclaiming the whole gospel to the whole person to the whole world so that the peoples of the earth will praise and glorify God.
We must preach Jesus Christ and His Word alone. Our message remains the same: All men have sin and fall short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by our good works. Men and women should repent and believe Jesus Christ and receive Him as a gift from God so that they will be saved. They must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus at all cost. Apostle Peter said to the religious leaders of Israel, “Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.' 12Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12). We must not only be concerned about the spiritual needs of men, but let us as well be concerned with their physical, emotional, economical and intellectual needs. Let us strive to help meet the total needs of men – body, soul, and spirit. We must not only share the gospel to a few people we know, but to all peoples of the earth. Do not only share the gospel to your own culture; do so also cross-culturally. We must go to the a) Tribes, b) the Hindus, c) the Unreached People Groups (UPGs), d) to the Muslims and e) the Buddhists (Note: All 5 represent the acronym, “THUMB”). All these peoples must hear the good news. And those who have repented, believed and received Jesus Christ must be disciple so that they too can make disciples and in this way more people will praise and glorify God all over the earth. Illustration: [Make use of available and relevant illustrations, especially from your own experiences.] Challenge: Share Jesus Christ to any of these people groups within our reach. We don’t have to look far: We have many Hindus from India in our own cities and towns. The Muslims are amongst our midst as well. However, if God calls you to go to India, Iran, Nepal, and other places then you must obey and go so that more peoples of the earth will praise God when they receive the blessing of salvation in Christ Jesus. Conclusion: The peoples of the earth will praise God and give Him glory when they receive the blessing of God’s salvation. They will exalt God because of who He is to them and what He has done for them through Jesus Christ. Therefore, we should pray to the Lord of the Harvest that the peoples of the earth will receive the blessing of God’s salvation so that they praise and glorify Him. We should shine for God before the peoples of the earth so that through us, they will see the glory of God in Christ Jesus and praise our Heavenly Father. We should proclaim the whole gospel to the whole person to the whole world so that the peoples of the earth will praise and glorify God. The glory of God is the desired response of the nations that are blessed. Let the glory of God shine upon you today and tomorrow. Amen.