Today’s reading: Psalm 65-67; Romans 2
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
2 that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2
23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Romans 2:23-24
The Psalmist has a lofty view of the impact of the blessing of God on His people that spreads to all the nations. Truly, God does rule over all the earth. He is the God of all flesh. He providentially rules over everyone and everything. Nothing escapes Him. All owe Him everything. To borrow from Churchill, “Always and ever has every person everywhere owed everything to the One God.”
But, alas, this vision of a worldwide impact of blessing and worship has been hampered by the very people who had the Word of God. Paul says, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of [them].”
How did God deal with this? He judged His people for their unfaithfulness through the captivities of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. But He acted for the sake of His own name to restore them to the land (Ezekiel 36:16-38).
In Jesus’ lifetime, they were faced with the question of whether or not to believe the Messiah, the Christ whom God had sent them. Most of them failed to believe, yet according to Paul they maintained their spiritual pride and arrogance, looking down on the Gentile pagans. Romans 2 warns them and us not to be smug in our spiritual superiority. Our hypocrisy can cause the lost to blaspheme our God.
God will bring His elect from every tribe and tongue (Revelation 7:9-10). In Abraham through whom came Jesus Christ, all the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Pray for the fulfillment of this promise soon. Live in such a God-honoring way as to bring glory to Him. The Psalmist had it right. “ God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!” (67:7). And they shall.