Here we have the shortest Psalm in the Psalter and the shortest chapter in the Bible. Just the other day one of my students asked, “What could we possibly learn from this short verse that just says to praise God?”
What can we learn? Spurgeon shares that “this Psalm, which is very little in its letter, is exceedingly large in its spirit, for, bursting all bounds of race or nationality, it calls upon all mankind to praise the name of the Lord.”
God desires that all nations praise Him. Normally it is the people of God who are called to praise the Lord, but not here. Here, we see “all you nations” not just the Jews but the Gentiles also.
All the nations. How can we understand this? God’s desire is to be known. God created all of us to be in relationship with Him. From the beginning, God’s redemptive work in and for Israel had in view the redemption of the Gentiles. It is no different today. God continues to desire to be known by all people. He continues to call all nations to praise Him. To praise Him means to make “much of Him”. The idea of bragging about God comes to mind.
How often do we make “much” of our God? How often do we “brag” about Him? As we realize that our God wants the nations to know Him, I often ask myself what am I doing to share who God is with people who do not know Him. Often we find ourselves in comfortable situations and we stay there. I am being challenged to get uncomfortable and start to brag boldly about God.
I was asked not too long ago, “Why do you praise God?”
The answer is as simple as this Psalm. Our God is a God of love. The definition of this kind of love includes merciful kindness, loving kindness, faithful love, steadfast love, and unfailing love.
Our God is also faithful. If our God shows this great and strong love for us, than His faithfulness can only be everlasting. He is a God who continues to be faithful in our life. God’s character cannot change and His promises cannot be broken. We see it over and over again.
We have a God who loves all people and a God who is faithful. I believe we need to get bragging about Jesus and see Psalm 117 fulfilled so that all nations might hear this Great News.