Praise Him for His Rule


Psalm 67:3-4 “May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.”

It is not our natural condition to be excited about God ruling. Many prefer to be free of him. British atheist Julian Huxley once spoke of the “enormous relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God.” Such thinking makes them think they are free to do as they please, but they are only deceiving themselves.

The psalmist doesn’t pray here that someday God might rule the peoples. He states his rule as a simple fact. To deny God’s rule is to participate in the same rebellion by which Adam and Eve dragged us all into sin in the first place. This is not freedom. It’s slavery to sin.

God’s children, however, recognize God’s rule for the wonderful thing that it is. Our God does not glower over us like some terrible tyrant. He does not drive us lovelessly or bully us into his service. He has set himself up as Lord of our hearts by the gospel of peace. He has courted and won us by his unparalleled, unstoppable, and unfathomable love, by the supreme sacrifice of his Son to save us.

This is no self-serving Sovereign, selfishly saying, “You go right ahead. I’ll be right here behind you.” He is more than a brave hero or champion, leading the troops into battle. As our King he faced the enemy alone. He laid down his life to make us victors. That is leadership. When the psalmist says, “You rule the peoples justly,” he is not referring first to the fact that God has the power to make all things bend to his will. He is referring to this unique way in which he used his authority and position to serve us.

We sometimes refer to those who govern us as “public servants.” The behavior of our politicians has made many cynical. They doubt whether “service” really ever enters the minds of those who hold high offices in our land. But “service” is exactly what our God gives us as he rules the peoples justly and guides the nations of the earth. “May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you”–for your rule.

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