1 Praise the LORD, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
2 For great is his love towards us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures for ever.
Praise the LORD.
Psalm 117 – Short psalm – long blessing
Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm in the book of Psalms, consisting of only two verses. It is also the Bible’s shortest chapter. Here is the middle chapter of all the chapters in the Bible! You are half-way through God’s word. Although it is short, the benefits and blessings it describes and encourages are truly endless. In fact, they last through all eternity for all trusting in Jesus Christ!
Because it is so short, we will look at it phrase by phrase. Why not pray over each simple phrase as you read it or hear it read?
(Verse 1) Praise the LORD, It is always the right thing to do to praise God. This short psalm starts and finishes with ‘Praise the LORD’. From the start of our Christian lives—since Jesus became our Saviour in answer to our personal faith placed in Him – until our dying day, may our aim always be to praise God, and live in such a way that helps others to praise Him too.
all you nations; It is no surprise that the Bible says that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16) or that Jesus told His disciples ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation’ (Mark 16:15).
There is a challenging song which starts:
‘Every person in every nation,
In each succeeding generation,
Has the right to hear the news
that Christ can save.’
God wants people from all nations to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and praise Him.
extol him, Do you see yourself as a sinner who needs to repent and turn from your sins? Do you believe that the penalty for your sins has been paid for by Jesus when He was punished on the cross in your place? If so, have you trusted in Jesus yet as your living Saviour and Lord? If you do, seek to ‘extol’ the Lord by what you now say and do. ‘Extol’ means to elevate or raise. Many people ignore God, but when they note that you lift up His name in the way you worship or witness, and live life to please God, they see what a wonderful, life-changing, Lord and Saviour Jesus is.
all you peoples. Every people group in the world, as well as every nation, is filled with individuals who Christ died to save and who need to come to know Him. This mirrors the meaning of ‘all you nations’.
(Verse 2) For great is his love towards us, The Bible teaches that ‘God is love’ (1John 4:16). God’s love is shown in everyday situations worldwide. But the Bible says that ‘God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). ‘The Son of God – – – loved me and gave Himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures for ever. God is faithful. That is shown by the unfailing way He keeps His promises, such as, ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:9). Remember to confess your sins direct to God and ask for His cleansing. He will purify you from them. He is faithful, and He has promised!
Praise the LORD. We finish as we began! Learn to praise the LORD at all times.