‘’Praise GOD, everybody! Applaud GOD, all people!’’ The Message.
This is the shortest psalm (and the shortest chapter in the Bible.) It has a world vision. It calls on all nations to worship God. God’s great heart of ‘’love’’ and enduring ‘’faithfulness’’ is towards all He has made.
‘’Psalm 117 reaches into the heart of God’s purposes and out to the remotest bounds of the world.’’J.A.Motyer: ‘New Bible Commentary’, p.564.
In Romans 15:11 Paul quotes verse 1 to argue that from the beginning God’s plan of salvation included the Gentile nations (see Genesis 12:3). As someone put it, ‘If you wanted to give a sweet to a group of children, you could pass the bag round and individually offer one to every child. Or, you could entrust the bag to one and say, ‘Share these with the others.’ This preacher went on to say, ‘God gave Israel the whole bag of sweets and told them to share it with the world!’ God called Israel to be a light to the Gentiles. They were not meant to keep what they had to themselves. They were to view it as a sacred trust. They were intended to share it with others. God’s love to Israel was meant to be a blessing to the whole world, through Jesus the Son of David.
The well-known preacher I mentioned in the former paragraph was leading a service in his church and I heard him pray, ‘Lord, help us to live on a world map.’ That phrase arrested my attention and remains with me. As local churches, we have primary spheres of influence. We are particularly aware of our ‘Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria’ but we must never lose sight of the ‘ends of the earth.’
‘’This short psalm is about a big subject: helping all the nations to praise the Lord. God called Israel to be a blessing to all the nations of the world (Gen.12:1-3), just as He has called His church to take the gospel to the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20).’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, p.385.
‘’The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions, and the nearer we get to Him the more intensely missionary we must become.’’ Henry Martyn.
Prayer: Lord, enable us to live on a world map.