“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!” (Psalm 117:1-2).
Psalm 117 is the shortest Bible chapter in the English language. (That info might be helpful for your next game of Bible trivia.) Even better, this psalm needs to be studied, memorized, and applied in our lives.
Praise the Lord!
Praise is the psalm’s introduction, thesis, and its conclusion – its beginning, middle, and end. This call of praise rings loudly and saturates the text with both great privilege and duty.
Specifically, the psalm establishes that “all nations” or “all peoples” are to praise Him. This includes every single man, woman, and child – not only the Jews but the Gentiles too! This speaks to the fact that God has the inherent and sole right of universal worship. For this reason, every part of His creation is under obligation to adore Him as the one true object of their affection. This is what God desires and merits (John 4:23-24)! This is what is right (Psa. 145:3)!
Two reasons for praise are given in this psalm:
The Love of God is Steadfast and Great.
God steadfastly loves us. This means that He never stops loving us! Even when we have rebelled against Him in the most horrible of ways, God’s love is continually supplied to His ever-insubordinate creation (cf. John 3:16; Rom. 5:8).
The love of God is great – the greatest! His love is the absolute best thing that man has ever been offered, accepted, and experienced. The apostle John relished in the love of God, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are” (cf. 1 Jn. 3:1, NASB)!
Yes, we praise a Lord whose love is both great and steadfast!
The Faithfulness of God is Forever.
God’s faithfulness, or truth (KJV, ASV), endures forever. This means that there is an unmatched consistency to the divine and beautiful character of God. He is perfect in every way. Unlike Satan, when God speaks the truth, he speaks of Himself for He is truth and the Father of it (cf. Jn. 8:44). When he makes a promise, we can rest assured that promise will be fulfilled. In a world of uncertainties and lies, it is Him, and Him alone, in whom we can trust. For this reason, we praise the name of the only one deserving of ceaseless honor!
So, praise Him always! Make praise the beginning, middle, and end of your life. God is deserving of such.