This short psalm is a neat refinement of the themes from 66. It’s this generous wish that everyone will know God’s blessing.
It struck me as a sunshine metaphor, God’s face shining on the chosen people at the start, a reference to harvest being tangible evidence of God’s blessing at the end.
But the shining metaphor also reminds me of the moment your dad smiles, or when the judge on a reality show drops the po face and beams his approval of a contestant.
God answered this prayer request for global praise with the Messiah. The department I work in is called mission resources. I should run this through my head as I am working occasionally,
It is surprising that the ancient Israelites sat around praying that the whole world would know God’s blessing and love. They weren’t a missionary religion, they didn’t imagine the blessing as being their religion world wide, as far as I can tell.
It’s declaring the truth of their monotheism. That Jehovah is the one true creator of the whole earth, source of all that is good. The hope that God will guide all nations as he has guided them.
The happiness of praise and celebration sparks this overflow of good to all, like Christmas. I kind of don’t want to unpack my reaction more than a happy sense of optimism for the world. Despite everything, ‘he’s got the whole world in his hands’.