Psalm 117

Psalm 117

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The Lord’s Faithfulness Endures Forever

117   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!

(ESV)


Psalm 117 Commentary

by Hank Workman

In what is the shortest Psalm of all, believe it or not, Martin Luther wrote 36 pages on it!  For although just a few verses it is loaded with several things.  Summing up Luther’s thoughts: It speaks of prophecy of the Gentiles participating in the Gospel, Revelation of the Kingdom of Christ, Instruction that we are saved by faith alone and not works, and calls us to give praise to God for such a tremendous salvation He offers.

Truly what is most astounding about this is the Gentiles themselves are called to praise God.  It shows how God had planned long before of reaching people outside of the Jewish nation and redeeming them.  His heart is that big!  In ancient times, Gentiles were pretty much looked down upon.  In fact, very little sympathy was given to their Gentile neighbors if they struggled.  But here reveals God’s heart.  Overlooking the prejudice of the time, God longed for all people to come to Him and give Him praise.

It is a song of praise for all humankind.

As has been mentioned now the past several Psalms, this song too was sung at the Passover.  Sung by Jesus.  Beautifully on the night he was betrayed, the day before crucified, Jesus had all people on His mind.  His victory was for every tribe and tongue who would call Him Savior.  As Paul references this Psalm in Romans 15:11 it is a call for all nations to praise Him.

Meyer calls this a Missionary Psalm, then poses:  “Are we doing all we can to kindle the nations to praise?  They cannot praise Him whom they do not know.  It is mere hypocrisy to bid them praise Him, if we have never sought to spread by lip or gift the mercy and truth revealed in Jesus  our Lord.”


Psalm 117 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Although short, this psalm packs a heavy punch.

God calls all people to worship Him. The calling of the Gentiles (all people other than Jews) was in the plan of God from the beginning. Through His relationship with Israel, the Gentile nations saw His goodness and power revealed in miraculous ways. Paul quotes this psalm in Romans 15.

And again, “PRAISE THE LORD ALL YOU GENTILES, AND LET ALL THE PEOPLES PRAISE HIM.”

Romans 15:11 NASB

The other application that sticks out for me is the grace and truth paradox. Once you begin to read Scripture through the lens of both grace and truth, you start to see it everywhere. Verse 2 states that His love is great toward us and His truth is everlasting. When Jesus came in the flesh, He embodied these two characteristics simultaneously.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 NASB

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

John 1:17 NASB

We must consider if we also embody grace and truth. If we swing too far one way or another, we miss the fullness of Christ and possibly lead others down a false path.

“Instead of the world’s apathy and tolerance, we offer grace. Instead of the world’s relativism and deception, we offer truth. If we minimize grace, the world sees no hope for salvation. If we minimize truth, the world sees no need for salvation. To show the world Jesus, we must offer unabridged grace and truth, emphasizing both, apologizing for neither.”

Randy Alcorn
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