Today’s Psalm is a corporate blessing – sung by the people… over their king. The context has King David about to lead the nation’s army out into battle with their enemies. The people gather around him (as representative of the whole army) and invoke God’s blessing over his life (and theirs).
It is a beautiful scene that we mostly miss in today’s expression of church. Nearly everything we do is by individuals, for individuals… and for individual benefit. There is nothing particularly wrong with this… but at the core, it misses something essential for God’s people. It misses the fact that we are God’s people together.
Scripture is abundantly clear (even in the New Testament) that we have a bond with God – AND with each other. We belong to Him. We also belong to each other.
What effects one, effects all. God designed it so that we actually need each other… every last one of us… together.
God’s people, in the Old Testament, realized that they were God’s people together – and they lived that way.
This Psalm is a snapshot of that commitment.
And together they pronounce God’s blessing over their king. They send him out into harm’s way with the covering of their spoken blessing. King David is not going out on his own – the hopes, prayers, and blessings of all the people go with him.
Notice the components of a proper blessing. Safety. God’s assistance. God’s acceptance (of the king’s offerings and sacrifices). The faith-profession that the thoughts and passions of the heart and mind be divinely granted. Divine rescue if necessary. And, of course, a declaration of victory.
All scripted beforehand. All sung over the king, conferred on him by the people.
How would our church experience be different if we lived with the notion that every believing brother or sister was actually our Family? That we are privileged to take responsibility for each other… to encourage, to build up, to strengthen, to admonish – and that we live by the realization (like the proverbial chain)… that we are only as strong as the weakest among us.
What if we lived with the commitment – to corporately work to heal our wounded, to bind up the broken, to help the blind to see.
What if… we really believed that we are inexorably linked together as one unit.
Just as Christ made us to be.