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. (NIV)
Since psalm 117 is the shortest psalm we are offering a different opportunity for us in reading this psalm. You are invited to practice a little lectio divina with this psalm. Lectio divina is an ancient monastic practice of reading a short passages of scripture and letting the words reverberate into the very depth of your soul. The idea is that your read this psalm. Let it sit for a minute, then read it again. Read it again in another translation. Here it is in the translation called The Message:
Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people!
His love has taken over our lives;
God’s faithful ways are eternal.
Now read this psalm out loud. What jumps out at you? Read that verse several times. Take time to meditate on this verse itself.
For me, the words that jump out are, “Great is his love for us.” That love is not just for me, but for all the nations-for everyone.
Read this psalm one more time in the King James version:
O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.
If you ever thought of memorizing scripture, this would be a perfect place to start.
This Psalm is a Psalm of praise; it’s a universal call to worship. All nations and all people are invited to sing praise to our creator God.
Why should we praise God? The Psalmist gives us some direction in reminding us that God has a great unwavering love for us. AND the faithfulness of God is always present and God continues to be faithful even when we are not for God cannot deny who He is (2 Tim. 2:13).
There are many reasons to offer praise to God from the continued blessings and grace we receive everyday, to God’s presence with us in the great times and the dark times, to a life that can be filled with purpose and life, to so many more things in which God has graced us with. Yet all these blessings from God can be wrapped up in the truth that we are truly loved by God. We are the beloved of God and that steadfast loves endures forever! What are you thankful for today?
My Bible has a lot of exclamation points in this chapter, which is beautiful. Praise is springing forth from an overflowing heart of joy and thankfulness! God is love and God is faithful. Love is the very nature of who God is and our response to God’s continued love and faithfulness should be a response of praise.
How far should our praise go? How should we praise? Through song, prayer, or attending worship? All these and so much more! Our way to praise is a response with offering our entire lives to God and allowing God to mold, shape, and use us. Let us praise God with our lives and always remember even in the times we fail that God is love and God’s faithfulness is always present. We are covered in grace, let us respond joyfully!
How have you experienced God’s faithfulness in your life?