Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 67

Expositor's Dictionary of TextsExpositor's Dictionary

Verses 1-7

Psalms 67:1-2

I. There is strong connexion between health and happiness between the shining of the heart and the soundness of the body. The connexion is more seen in the prevention than in the cure of disease. When an illness has actually mastered us it is usually vain to say, 'Keep up your spirits'. The tendency of illness is to keep down the spirits. This is suggested in the book of Job. Why does the Satan of the drama, after overwhelming Job by poverty and bereavement, ask leave to afflict him with ill-health. It is because, while poverty and bereavement make us prostrate, ill-health keeps us prostrate, prevents us from seeing the actual sunbeams which remain.

II. But it is as a safeguard from sickness rather than a cure of sickness that the study of sunbeams is valuable. When the body is laid low, all the light and music in the world may fail to raise it; but a very little light and music might have prevented its prostration. It is where the salt of life has lost its savour that the body is trodden down; but where the savour of life is enjoyed there is a bodyguard.

III. Now, the Psalmist says that religion has a medical value. He says that everywhere 'Among all nations' it tends to preserve health. It does so because it furnishes a sunbeam to the heart. It gives a promise of good fortune to come. A promise of coming good fortune brings a flood of mental energy, and that is converted into bodily energy. The worries that make us physically weak are almost entirely occupied with the future, whether of this world or other worlds. The sting of poverty is the thought of tomorrow. The sting of bereavement is the cloud beyond death. The sting of conscience is the doubt of our qualification for heaven. And if our worries are generally about the future, they can have no panacea like religion. Religion alone can make a heart confident about the future. Human effort may in a measure redeem the past; human toil may provide much for the present; but only the sense of God can gild my future. It is no mere metaphor when the Bible calls God 'The health of my countenance,' for the cares that ruffle the body are not the troubles of today but the troubles of tomorrow, and nothing can alleviate the troubles of tomorrow but the shining face of God.

G. Matheson, Messages of Hope, p. 101.

Reference. LXVII. 1, 2. J. Edmunds, Sermons in a Village Church, p. 144.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Psalms 67". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/psalms-67.html. 1910.
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