Psalm 67:1-2 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
It is refreshing to have such a “Great Commission” Psalm! The request for blessing is to be expected, but for the reason to be so clearly stated as world evangelism makes this stand out. We have the image of the Jews as being completely focused on themselves, but this Psalm gives the lie to that – and it isn’t even by David! In the same way there are Jews today who, though not openly Messianic, are very friendly toward Christians. Just yesterday I read an article by a rabbi who was pleading with Christians to stand up and defend the life of faith against the atheistic attacks that are so prevalent today, and I have been aware of the ministry of Dennis Prager for some time, as he seeks to defend America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. This isn’t in any way to say that the New Testament, that “most Jewish of books,” in any way says that Jews don’t need to repent and believe for salvation, but it is to say that people who actively seek to follow the God of Abraham have a lot in common. There are Jews who actively, even vehemently deny that Jesus is the Messiah, but God loves all His children, and He wants them all to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4) It hardly pleases Him that there are so many who claim to love Him and yet are satisfied if just “they and theirs” are saved. We all need to remember that His blessings for us are to let all mankind know of Him, so that they may repent, believe, and receive eternal life.
Growing up in a missionary family, this is ingrained in my bones. For the past 39 years I also have sought to share the knowledge of God and His salvation with the Japanese people, and I expect to keep doing so for as long as I am on this earth. There are times when people see how I am blessed but fail to understand the reason for that blessing. I seek to help them see that everything they admire in me is because of Christ, and as such is equally available to them, but they for the most part see me as “other,” and don’t grasp that we are equally created by God. Right now I am in the hospital, which is a special opportunity to share Christ in attitude and action, as well as in words. My first night, the man in the bed opposite me was an 87-year old who was here just overnight for cataract surgery. I’m not at all sure he was aware at first that I was Caucasian, because of his cataracts, and he certainly seemed to “take a shine” to me. I listened to him sympathetically as he talked of all his woes, and in the process he mentioned that there had been “amen people” around him even in his youth. Considering that he lived through WWII, that says a lot! I didn’t recite the “Four Spiritual Laws” tract to him, but I did talk about how we all go through a lot, but if we will turn our hearts to God in gratitude for His blessings, rather than focusing on the unpleasant stuff, that our lives will be much happier. As he was leaving yesterday morning he kept asking me to come see him, but when the only directions he gave me were the name of a bus stop and the type of store near it, it will take direct divine guidance for me to find him! Even so, I was very aware that God loves him as much as He does me, even though our lives could hardly be more different. I indeed want God’s salvation known everywhere!
Father, thank You for this reminder of why I’m here, in Omura and on this earth. Help me be more and more effective in sharing the Gospel so that as many as will may receive it and be saved, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!