Psalm 68:32 is one of the 120 Old Testament verses that point
to the urgent need for world missions.
Psalm 68:32 calls people everywhere to sing praise to
the one true God.
The Apostle Paul asked, "How can people believe in (or
sing about!) Him of whom they have not heard?
As we "make disciples" (Matthew 28:19-20) we need to understand we are giving invitations
to join the worldwide choir and "sing praise to the Lord" (Psalm 68:32)!
Missions: The heart of God
"Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
sing praise to the Lord" -- Psalm 68:32
"We cannot have too much singing to God," wrote Charles Spurgeon in comments on Psalm
68:32 for his Treasury of David book.
The Psalm 68:32 phrases about singing powerfully illustrate the priority God wants us to
give to world evangelism. Furthermore, the idea of people around the world bursting out into
songs of praise to God makes me think of those surprise "flash concerts" that choirs sometimes
give in public places (example).
As I envision a global "flash concert" of praise to the Lord, I start unpacking what Psalm
68:32 means for the cause of world missionary outreach:
Psalm 68:32 means that as we "make disciples" (Matthew 28:19-20) we need to include
invitations to join the worldwide choir that will "sing praise to the Lord!"
I hear a clear call in Psalm 68:32 to people everywhere to acknowledge the one true God, the
God who reveals Himself to us through the pages of the Bible. This verse is not simply an
exhortation to be happy and to give praise to something or somebody. Psalm 68:32 calls all
people everywhere to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Perhaps the most compelling relationship Psalm 68:32 has with world evangelism is that it
calls to mind Paul's words to the Romans about those who have yet to hear the Gospel. Romans
10:14 asks: "How shall they believe in (or sing about!) Him of whom they have not
heard?" (more on Romans
10:14). The only possible answer
to that question is that if people from every nation are going to join us in singing to God, they do
need to know about Him. The question we should be asking each other is: If there are people
alive today with little or no access to the Gospel, shouldn't we be doing something to get the
Good News to them?
Psalm 68:32 I also gives us a glimpse of how global Christianity would become by this time in
world history. Those words were written a thousand years or more before
the birth of Jesus. At that time, it seems that little was known about the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob outside of the Middle East. Now, the People of God can be found all over the world.
These twenty centuries of Christian missionary work have been fruitful even though we still have
a ways to go to make sure that people from every tribe and tongue and "kingdom" hear the call to
give praise to God.
Finally, scholars say Psalm 68 may be the oldest poem in the Book of Psalms. If it is, then
the words of verse 32 affirms that world missions may apparently was, as Dave Davidson has
said, "on God's mind from the beginning."
May all people everywhere praise God. Let's make sure they all -- every one of them -- get
invited to join the choir!
Video: People from 50 countries sing "Amazing Grace"
In what ways could the words of Psalm 68:32 provide motivational fuel for the cause of
world missionary outreach?
How might the content of Psalm 68:32 complement that of Romans 10:14 in making the case
for world evangelism?
In what ways can it be said that Psalm 68:32 should call us to emphasize the making of
Christ-followers in all people groups?
Why can it be said that Psalm 68:32 reflects the idea that God's plan for world missions has
been in place since the beginning?
-- Howard Culbertson,
This mini-essay on a world missions Bible passage is one of more than three dozen
articles in the "Heart of God" series
published in Engage, a
monthly online magazine. That series explores what the Bible says about missions.