Psalm 117: All Nations!
May 24, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The Psalms give many reasons (that is “affections” = the combination of both reason and feeling that moves the will towards action) to praise God. It is important for us to have such motivation. When we come to church, we can otherwise find that we are stalled in neutral when we should be racing down the highway to exult in the Lord. It is legitimate to wonder “why” we should praise God.
It is necessary every day, as likely as not, to gather rosebuds of reason that will flavor the draught of praise to the glory of God. We need to praise God out of a full heart, not out of a rote expression of external articulation of praise. Biblical praise wells up from a biblical mindset (that is “affections” = the combination of both reason and feeling that moves the will towards action).
This psalm, though tiny—it is only two verses—provides us with one stunning reason to praise God. Note first the scope of the praise that is required in verse 1: it is called for from “all” nations and from “all” peoples. There is an international expanse to praise. No nation, no ethnic group, no tribe or tongue or language is excluded (see Revelation 7:9 for the fulfillment of this global call to expansive praise).
But then with this international scope now clearly in our vision (can you see all the tribes, the colors, the nations, the ethnicities?), here comes the reason (that is “affections” = the combination of both reason and feeling that moves the will towards action). The reason is twofold: God’s steadfast love is “toward us” and his faithfulness endures “forever.”
In other words, what is the basis of this praise from all nations here being called for is first that God’s love has been displayed to his people. How can that be a reason for all nations to praise God? Because the love of God is a missionary and missional love. The revelation of God’s love to his people is for the purpose of that love being tasted, and therefore motivating towards praise, by all peoples.
And then second, this praise is motivated by the eternal security of such love: it is forever. This morning, then, dwell in the love of God revealed in Christ Jesus for his people. And then let that raise your mind to the global mission of God, that all nations might praise and all peoples might praise him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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