One New Year’s Eve tradition in Spain is to eat twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight. That’s one grape for each stroke of the clock and one for each of the months of the year ahead. It is said that if you can eat them in the first twelve seconds, you’ll enjoy good luck throughout the year!
Believers in God look not for luck but for His blessing, often conveyed in the picture of His face shining upon us (v. 1). This was, in fact, the standard Old Testament blessing: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the L turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Num. 6:24–26). It was also the prayer of the psalmist: “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love” (Ps. 31:16).
Psalm 67 teaches us to think anew about the concept of blessing. Our natural instinct is to focus on ourselves and material blessings. God is, after all, the “Father of the heavenly lights” and giver of all good gifts (James 1:17). But in this psalm, only verse 6 speaks in those terms. Even then, the blessing is the harvest, basically meaning the provision of daily bread.
Instead, God’s blessing is invoked in two other ways. First, His ways will be known throughout the world and His “salvation among all nations” (v. 2). The purpose of His blessing in our lives is so that His name, love, and redemption will be known and glorified everywhere.
Second, the Lord will be universally praised and worshiped, as ought to be the case (vv. 3–5, 7; Phil. 2:10–11). His authority, justice, and wisdom at work in the world is more than enough reason for gladness, rejoicing, and worship.
This entire psalm is a prayer for God’s name and salvation to be known and glorified throughout all the earth, and for our great King to be universally praised and worshiped. For His face to shine upon us means that we will be part of making this happen! This is a great reason to pray Psalm 67 as part of your daily prayer time today.