May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. (Ps. 67:3)

WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT if we always knew the purpose behind the plans? If you’re like me, I can get a little resentful when I’m merely told to do something without knowing why.

The psalmist made a request of God, but had a greater goal in mind. The cue for us is that. I used to read my Bible and skip over such common words, but lately I’ve come to see them as road signs of understanding.

“God be gracious . . . bless us . . . that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” The context of God’s grace and blessing shifts from me to many.

For is another significant road sign. It’s introduced here by a repeated command: “May the peoples praise you.” But then we’re told why—because (for) God will judge rightly and guide the nations. That’s cause for praise.

One final injunction to praise the God who blesses us with increase is mentioned. He takes care of us by causing the earth to produce what is necessary for life itself. “That” all of us across the globe will revere His name.

Learn to look for clues to God’s whys.

Beth Weikel is the author of the upcoming Hope in the Midst of Loss (May 2015; WPH) about the challenges and suffering of grief.