Doxology

A doxology is a “lyrical expression of praise to God” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In a worship service it provides a liturgical response to the presentation of the offering. Various forms of “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” have been sung in churches since the late 1600’s.

I once had a profound moment singing the doxology at a women’s retreat. We had gathered in the dining room and our music leader suggested we sing it a cappella as our grace before the meal. The harmonies blended beautifully in the room and it was a stunning offering to the Lord.

Psalm 67 is introduced as a doxology in one bible translation. That is fitting, as this brief psalm is a beautiful and lyrical praise chorus. It was written to the director of music “to be performed with string instruments.” We’ll get right on that as soon as we’re back in church!

Psalm 67 (New Revised Standard Version)

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us, Selah

This may sound familiar to you. It is part of the Aaronic blessing that appears in Numbers 6. The lovely phrase “make his face to shine upon us” is a word-picture that invokes an image of God’s joy in giving his blessing and his grace to a happy, responsive people.

that your way may be known upon earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you.

The psalmist cleverly offers God a small incentive. If God will bestow his blessing on us, then the world will see and thus his way will be known on all the earth. That is kind of like promising to tithe if God would just make you win the lottery.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth.Selah

God will judge the people with equity. That is an amazing thought. There is no hierarchy of sin according to this. There is no privilege, status, religious preference, or condition that will get you off easy. Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, atheists, etc. will be judged equally with all the people of the earth. Humbling, isn’t it?

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you.

Praise is the appropriate response to all of God’s blessings. As the harvest of provision comes in the form of daily bread to us, let us join in singing our praises with all the creatures here below! For God indeed is worthy of our praise.

The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth revere him.

Amen.

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow by Becca Ziegler

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