The ‘REAL REASONS’ why we should ‘PRAISE the LORD’
June 23 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 111-118
"Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!" (Psalms 117:1-2)
Psalm 117 is the shortest of all psalms and the shortest of all chapters in the Bible. It is an invitation to people of every nation to praise the Lord. This psalm is quoted in Romans 15:11 to show that Gentiles are a part of God’s divine plan of salvation for humankind. Paul uses the words of this psalm to show that the nations share in the promises to Abraham (Rom. 15:7–11). The message of this psalm is simple: Israel is a case study for all the nations, about one nation that was shown God’s “merciful kindness” (Ps. 117:1).
This universal offer of salvation goes back to Abraham, through whom God promised to bless “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12:3). Centuries later, the prophets would echo the same theme. All along God has been working to fulfill His word to Abraham that all the families of the earth will be blessed. Psalm 117 celebrates that promise. Therefore, “praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!”
What assurance do we have that these promises will be fulfilled? In answer, Psalm 117 points to Israel and show us that when God commits Himself to people, He follows through! So when God pledges Himself to the Gentiles, His promises are as binding as they were in the case of Israel.
Psalm 117 has a simple structure: a call for the nations to praise God (v. 1), and an enumeration of reasons for the nations to praise God (v. 2). This short psalm is about a big subject: helping all the nations to praise the Lord. God called Israel to be a blessing to all the nations of the world, just as He has called His church to take the gospel to the whole world (Matt. 28:18–20).
The nations are worshiping false gods, so what do we tell them about the true God? Psalms 117 is a message to all nations of the world that God’s merciful kindness – His covenant love – is great towards us. God loved us before we were born and He will love us after we die. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:3a). This gives us the real reasons why we should praise the Lord!