Let the Nations Be Glad
Psalm 67:4 (ESV) – Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.
How did we get a world full of different nations and countries? Where did the ethnic groups of the world descend from? The first answer is Adam and Eve. Every human being is still a descendent of our first parents. We can even argue that everyone descends from Noah’s family after the flood. But the reason we have different tribes and languages around the world is because of Genesis 11. The Tower of Babel provides us the background for why there are people of different ethnicities, color, language, and customs. All of humanity was scattered and their languages confused.
But our text today reminds us of what the hope of the gospel is about. Even in the Old Testament, the goal is that the nations be restored to God. Even after God calls Abraham to Himself (Genesis 12) after Babel, the goal is still to have all the nations be His. Through one man, a nation would be built (Israel) that would bless all nations. We read in Psalm 67:4, “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.”
The psalmist cries out, “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” This is a prayer and a praise. He yearns for the gladness and joy of the nations. He asks the LORD to give them this joy. Why? Because He is the judge of all peoples. He judges them with equity and guides the nations upon earth. Just because God chose Abraham to form a nation (Israel) doesn’t mean He doesn’t own all the nations. He is still the LORD over all. The nations since Babel may have developed their own idolatries and customs, but that doesn’t change reality. God is over all, even those that do not recognize Him.
But the pathway to joy is for them to know Him.
The gladness of the nations depends on finding their way back to the LORD. How does this passage (Psalm 67:4) and hope get fulfilled? Through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Through Christ, the nations can be reconciled.
In fact, that is the mission of the church and His disciples. We go to all the nations with the Good News. Through Christ, sins can be forgiven and what Babel destroyed can be reconciled. The LORD has made a way for the gladness of the nations to be experienced. It comes through Jesus alone. And the nations only hear about this amazing news as we go to them with the gospel. May our churches see our role in sending this good news to all peoples.
Photo Credit: IMB
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is it significant that nations other than Israel are discussed in the Old Testament as belonging to God?
- What is the source of joy and gladness for the nations?
- How does the church participate in taking joy to all the nations?
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