June 24, 2021 • Life for Leaders
Scripture Reading: Psalm 67:4-5 (NRSV)
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s relationship with Israel is special. The Israelites are uniquely God’s “treasured possession out of all the peoples” (Exodus 19:5). But this does not mean that God does not care for or exercise sovereignty over other nations. Indeed, “The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens” (Psalm 113:4). He has chosen Israel, not only to bless his special children, but also that Israel might be “a light to the nations” (Isaiah 49:6).
Thus, Psalm 67 begins with a wishful prayer for Israel: “May God be gracious to us and bless us” (67:1). But this is not just for Israel’s benefit. Rather, the prayer continues, “that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations” (67:2). The result is that “the peoples,” not just the Israelites, will offer praise to God (67:3).
Psalm 67:4 adds something else. Not only will the nations see God’s blessing of Israel, but also they will experience God’s “equity” in judgment and guidance. Yes, even nations that do not recognize or honor the Lord will be graciously guided by him as God works out his sovereign purposes.
What is true of the nations I believe is also true of God’s sovereignty and grace over other human institutions, including businesses, schools, athletic teams, and, well, you name it. All organizations are beneficiaries of God’s common grace. Yet, according to God’s own plans and pleasure, he can also guide institutions in his ways. We who know the Lord hope and pray that, in time, those who are guided by the God they do not know will come to recognize and honor him.
God is sovereign over all things, including all human institutions: nations, states, cities, businesses, and schools. Through his common grace, God blesses even those institutions and people who do not acknowledge him. He can even guide them for his sovereign purposes. We who know the Lord hope and pray that, in time, those who are guided by the God they do not know will come to recognize and honor him.
Gracious God, you are King of kings and Lord of lords. You are sovereign over all things, all peoples, all nations, all institutions. Everything in heaven and on earth exists under your authority. Everything is blessed by your common grace, by the warming sun and the watering rain.
In your mysterious and wise ways, you guide the nations upon the earth . . . also states and cities, businesses and schools, and all other institutions. You treat all peoples with equity, not to mention your abounding grace.
As I consider your sovereignty and care over all things, Lord, I join those who know you in praising you. Yet, I also ask that even those who don’t yet know you will soon come to praise you. Let the peoples praise you, O God. Let the institutions of this earth honor you. May all recognize your unique authority, power, grace, and glory. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
God is at work in ways we cannot see, guiding the institutions of this world according to his sovereign purposes.
For Further Reflection
You may wish to read all of Psalm 67.
Also, consider Revelation 15:3-4: “And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: ‘Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations! Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have been revealed.’”
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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: God’s Shining Face
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.