“Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.” (Psalms 67:5-6 KJV)
What a beautiful Psalm. It is special as it begins with the phrase, “To the chief Musician on Neginoth…”. The term Neginoth implies an instrumental. One of those tunes that when you hear it, you remember the words to it and the meaning behind it, but all that is necessary is the tune. Despite the fact that there are 150 Psalms and many of those are broken into smaller parts, this term is only used four times throughout the Psalms. Yet, this only begins to make this Psalm special. What really draws out the power of the meaning behind this Psalm is that it inherently provokes great conflict for the intellectual. Conflict? Re-read verses five and six again. These verses almost bring to a head the almost insulting idea that what the Earth yields has a direct relationship to the praise of God’s people to God. To the manager, the Earth yields what it yields because of what was planted, what was watered, how the soil was taken care of, the amount of sun light it receives, the climate the produce is grown in, the season it was grown in, and so much more. There are factors of what was planted in past years, what is planted near it, and the general pollution level of the area.
What a contrast to the idea of praise. Praise as used most literally here is an open hand. A hand that is open because it is throwing something out or away. A release in surrender of something that belongs not to our hand, but to the hand of God. Somehow this Psalm has the audacity to make a direct connection between our willingness to praise and surrender unto God what is God’s and the ability of the Earth to yield her increase. This is so unmanageable! We want to be in charge of getting a greater yield. Even if we acted like we were praising God in the hopes of a greater yield, the truth would eventually dawn on us. Somehow an attentive obedience to God’s precepts in the sincerest of faith produces the most solid results. In working the garden of Love that God has given us somehow a crop always gets through and it gets bigger at every pass. We may start such labors as reaching out in love to a neighbor, not charging usury to a brother, keeping His sabbath holy, digging deeper into God’s Word, learning to honor our father and mother, loving our wife, respecting our husband, and so much more as chores of work. As we learn to turn things over to God with an open hand they become more evidences of our trusting faith. Eventually, all we need to hear is the stringed instruments play this instrumental song. We grow to recognize it and really understand it’s meaning and value even when others may fight so hard against it’s lyrics.
The real tragedy is that if you do not learn the music that gives praise to God you often find yourself trying to decide what to do when a different song is played. There is a fiery furnace. Be careful not to end up in the one that the Son of God will not be with you in and is unquenchable.
“Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3:4-6 KJV)