WorldAt the begin­ning, when God cre­ated the heav­ens and the earth, it was so that He could demon­strate His glory. Indeed, begins, “The heav­ens declare the glory of God, and the sky above pro­claims his handiwork.”

reminds us that all of this cre­ation was by Christ — by Him, through Him and for Him — and declares that Jesus “upholds the uni­verse by the word of his power.”

As Abra­ham Kuyper wrote, “In the total expanse of human life there is not a sin­gle square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sov­er­eign, does not declare, ‘That is mine!’”

All cre­ation is here out of God’s great joy in His glory and His desire to make it known through His Son.

Through­out redemp­tive his­tory, God has com­mis­sioned His own peo­ple in that mis­sion to make His glory known. Yah­weh chose the nation of Israel and charged the Israelites to be “a king­dom of priests and a holy nation.”

That began with the patri­arch of the Israelites, Abra­ham. God told Abra­ham that the world would know Him and that nations would be blesse by Abraham’s off­spring. “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a bless­ing.” ()

The call was there for Israel to be a light to the nations and to make Yah­weh known through their bless­ing and His power and might.

The great mis­sion­ary psalm, , calls upon God to bless His peo­ple. “May God be gra­cious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,” the open­ing of the Psalm, echoes Aaron’s bless­ing to Israel ().

How­ever, the pur­pose of that bless­ing is not merely mate­r­ial, but has a pur­pose: “[T]hat your way may be known on earth, your sav­ing power among all nations.” ().

Scrip­ture shows us that Israel ulti­mately failed to make God known. The Old Tes­ta­ment records the his­tory of Israel — from Judges, where every­one did what was right in his own eyes, to the decline and split of the king­dom after Solomon, to the dis­per­sion and exile of the split nation — and it’s a his­tory of turn­ing away from Yahweh.

The prophet Isa­iah would con­demn Israel for its empty reli­gios­ity, idol­a­try and a heart far from God. “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this tram­pling of my courts? Bring no more vain offer­ings; incense is an abom­i­na­tion to me. New moon and Sab­bath and the call­ing of con­vo­ca­tions – I can­not endure iniq­uity and solemn assem­bly.” ().

The prob­lem was that not all of the peo­ple of Israel really were peo­ple of God. The nation was set aside by God as a peo­ple of His own pos­ses­sion, but it was a nation largely of unbe­liev­ers — who went through God’s sac­ri­fices by mere rit­ual and not by faith, if they fol­lowed the rites at all — mixed with a believ­ing rem­nant. And so the nation turned its heart from God.

But while Isa­iah pro­nounced woes upon Israel for its hands full of blood, there was also promise.

Jere­miah fore­told a day when all of His covenant peo­ple would know God, when there would be a New Covenant, one in which God declared He “will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my peo­ple. And no longer shall each one teach his neigh­bor and each his brother, say­ing, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the great­est, declares the LORD.” ().

The New Covenant peo­ple all know God because they have been redeemed by Christ and have been given power through the Holy Spirit who dwells in them. We are “a cho­sen race, a royal priest­hood, a holy nation, a peo­ple for his own pos­ses­sion,” so that we as the church may “pro­claim the excel­len­cies of him who called you out of dark­ness into his mar­velous light.” ()

God has truly blessed us in Christ and made His face to shine upon us so that His way may be known. The call to God’s royal priest­hood, His holy nation — New Covenant peo­ple — is to achieve what the psalmist desired: to make His way known upon the earth, and to make known His sav­ing power among all nations.


19:1 The heav­ens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above pro­claims his hand­i­work.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowl­edge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bride­groom leav­ing his cham­ber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its ris­ing is from the end of the heav­ens,
and its cir­cuit to the end of them,
and there is noth­ing hid­den from its heat.

The law of the Lord is per­fect,
reviv­ing the soul;
the tes­ti­mony of the Lord is sure,
mak­ing wise the sim­ple;
the pre­cepts of the Lord are right,
rejoic­ing the heart;
the com­mand­ment of the Lord is pure,
enlight­en­ing the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
endur­ing for­ever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and right­eous alto­gether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drip­pings of the hon­ey­comb.
11 More­over, by them is your ser­vant warned;
in keep­ing them there is great reward.

12 Who can dis­cern his errors?
Declare me inno­cent from hid­den faults.
13 Keep back your ser­vant also from pre­sump­tu­ous sins;
let them not have domin­ion over me!
Then I shall be blame­less,
and inno­cent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the med­i­ta­tion of my heart
be accept­able in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (ESV)


16 For by him all things were cre­ated, in heaven and on earth, vis­i­ble and invis­i­ble, whether thrones or domin­ions or rulers or authorities—all things were cre­ated through him and for him. (ESV)


He is the radi­ance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the uni­verse by the word of his power. After mak­ing purifi­ca­tion for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (ESV)


And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a bless­ing. (ESV)


67:1 May God be gra­cious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
your sav­ing power among all nations.
Let the peo­ples praise you, O God;
let all the peo­ples praise you!

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!

The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him! (ESV)


22 The Lord spoke to Moses, say­ing, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, say­ing, Thus you shall bless the peo­ple of Israel: you shall say to them,

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gra­cious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his coun­te­nance upon you and give you peace.

27 “So shall they put my name upon the peo­ple of Israel, and I will bless them.” (ESV)


that your way may be known on earth,
your sav­ing power among all nations. (ESV)


12 “When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this tram­pling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offer­ings;
incense is an abom­i­na­tion to me.
New moon and Sab­bath and the call­ing of con­vo­ca­tions—
I can­not endure iniq­uity and solemn assem­bly. (ESV)


33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my peo­ple. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neigh­bor and each his brother, say­ing, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the great­est, declares the Lord. For I will for­give their iniq­uity, and I will remem­ber their sin no more.” (ESV)


But you are a cho­sen race, a royal priest­hood, a holy nation, a peo­ple for his own pos­ses­sion, that you may pro­claim the excel­len­cies of him who called you out of dark­ness into his mar­velous light. (ESV)