“Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 117:1-2)
The Psalms are a collection of 150 “prayer and praise” songs of poetry by numerous authors and located in approximately the center of the Bible. Many of the Psalms have encouraged people through the years who honestly and openly go before the Lord with struggles on their hearts.
The shortest psalm in the Bible is Psalm 117. It contains only two verses or 29 words. This may be the shortest psalm in the Scriptures but it provides a lot of “punch” for the reader.
“Praise the Lord”, as we find in the very beginning of Psalm 117:1, is very common in the Psalms. It is an act of verbal applause for God who is the object of one’s worship. For some it has become a trite expression of the stereotypical itinerant preacher. For the truly sincere worshipper, it has a great amount of meaning that helps us turn our hearts from our own problems to that of the Lord, the One who carries our burdens.
“…all you nations” follows “Praise the Lord” in verse one. God’s heart has always been that every person in the world comes into a relationship with Him. His plan was to use the nation of Israel to reveal the Messiah, the Savior, so that the world may be saved through Him. This someone is Jesus.
“For great is his love toward us…” brings the focus from the world down to you and me. It is not just that he loves us but it is that his love is “great”. Read this again and realize the significance. The Creator of everything really does love you and me.
“…and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever”. With the current situation in the world today, everything seems uncertain. However, there is One who has always been faithful and will always be faithful – the Lord. His faithfulness will last for all time and we can bank on this truth.
Let me encourage you to choose a time (perhaps it is now) in the near future where you can spend some time with these words. As an exercise, simply read the first line and close your eyes. Think about it. Go through each word in your mind and consider the truth and how it may relate to you. Then pray it back to the Lord. It may look something like this: “Lord, I do praise you now. You are worthy of everything I can give you. I extol you and acknowledge that you are great in every way. Thank you for being great in my life.” Then you open your eyes and read the next part and so on.
Meditating on the Psalms is an enriching time with your heavenly Father. Enter into His presence and see how He will meet you in a special way.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at www.OneMaster.org.