"Praise the Lord, all nations!"

Vaclav's picture

"Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 117)

This is the shortest Psalm, but one of great importance. In it, all the nations are called upon to praise and extol the LORD. Not only his redeemed people, but also all peoples from all the nations are to stop, ponder and praise and make much of their God, and maker and redeemer.

The reason for it? - The greatness of his love for us all, and his everlasting faithfulness! Our God is good to all, to those that trust and love him, as well as to those that don't care a bit for him and maybe even hate him. He faithfully provides sunshine, rain, food, water, clothes, shelter, families, friends, and more...though many times we don't even thank him or acknowledge that he even exists. If we truly want to be rational, then let us ponder these things and praise God!

But more than that, the Father sent his only Son Jesus Christ and he loved us and died for us - for our sins, even for our sin of ingratitude. Jesus said in Mark 13:10, "And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.", before he comes back, as a judge. Christ Jesus, God's Son, lived a perfect and sinless life, died a brutal death for our sins as our substitute, was raised from the dead on the third day, that whoever trusts in him, what he has done for them on the cross of Calvary, that person will be forgiven, justified and will live in the presence of God, now and forever!

And even the Apostle Paul quotes Psalm 117, to show that the Good News of Jesus Christ is not only for the people of Israel but also for us, Gentiles, for all the nations. We are all called to "glorify God for his mercy".
Romans 15:8-9, "For I say that the Messiah became a servant of the circumcised on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises to the fathers, and so that Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy."

So in Psalm 117, we have God's heart and desire for the nations revealed. And in it is a hidden promise that there will be believers in Jesus out of all the nations. So let's take God's word - God's promise, and pray for God to fulfill his word. And let us take his word to the nations - to all, wherever we are, and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, so they may believe as we have.

John Calvin (1509-1564) said, "We do not know whether it will please God to have mercy on them or not, but we ought to hope well, since they are made in the image of God. Even if they are on the road to damnation, our salvation from that was only by the free goodness of God, and so theirs might be too." (Taken from Light after darkness, by Lee Gatiss)