Theme: Desire and Responsibility
This week’s lessons teach us of God’s gracious intention to call a people for himself from every nation, and of our great privilege and responsibility to make the gospel of Christ known to them.
Scripture: Psalm 67:1-7
One of the older commentators whom Charles Haddon Spurgeon quotes in his Treasury of David is William Binnie, who speaks of a balance here between the desire that others might be saved and our responsibility to tell them how. Binnie wrote:
How admirably balanced are the parts of this missionary song! The people of God long to see all the nations participating in their privileges, “visited with God’s salvation, and gladdened with the gladness of his nation” (Ps. 106:5). They long to hear all the nationalities giving thanks to the Lord and hallowing his name; to see the face of the whole earth, which sin has darkened so long, smiling with the brightness of a second Eden. This is not a vapid sentiment. The desire is so expressed as to connect with it the thought of duty and responsibility. For how do they expect that the happy times are to be reached? They trust, in the first instance, to the general diffusion of the knowledge of God’s way, the spreading abroad of the truth regarding the way of salvation. With a view to that, they cry for a time of quickening from the presence of the Lord, and take encouragement in this prayer from the terms of the divinely-appointed benediction. As if they had said, “Hast thou not commanded the sons of Aaron to put thy name upon us, and to say: The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord cause his face to shine on thee and be gracious to thee? Remember that sure word of thine. God be gracious unto us and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us. Let us thus be blessed, and we shall in our turn become a blessing. All the families of the earth shall, through us, become acquainted with thy salvation.”
Binnie then adds:
Such is the church’s expectation. And who shall say it is unreasonable. If the little company of a hundred and twenty disciples who met in the upper chamber at Jerusalem, all of them persons of humble station, and inconspicuous talents, were (sic) endued with such power by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, that within three hundred years the paganism of the empire was overthrown, one need not fear to affirm that, in order to the evangelization of the world, nothing more is required than that the churches of Christendom be baptized with a fresh effusion of the same Spirit of power.1
1William Binnie, quoted by C.H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 2a, Psalms 58-87, pp. 130, 131.
What balance does William Binnie discuss?
How is desire connected with duty and responsibility?
Application: Do you long to hear all the nationalities giving thanks to God and praising him? How is your desire connected to your sense of duty and responsibility?
Prayer: Ask God to give you the desire that the psalmist speaks of. Pray for a sense of duty and responsibility to accompany your desire.