# 328 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 117. A short Psalm with a long reach!

Psalm 118 is the shortest Psalm in the Psalter but as Kidner says: “This tiny psalm is great in faith, and its reach is enormous.” (# 29) It says:

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.

Its key theme is that of worship to the only One in our world Who actually deserves our worship and adoration. It is an exhortation to Praise the Lord… [to] extol him.

But it is not only an exhortation aimed at the Jewish people, but to all the people of the whole world, wherever they live, whoever they are, whatever language they speak. It says, all you nations… all you peoples.

Even though these words were written maybe 1000 years before the Apostle Paul, he understood that some of his people would have a problem with this truth that the ‘Gentiles’ would also worship Yahweh, and so he quoted from this psalm when he wrote to them:

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:

“Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles;
    I will sing the praises of your name.”     
[Psalm 18:49]  

10 Again, it says,

“Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”   [Deut. 32:43]

11 And again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
    let all the peoples extol him.”
  [Psalm 118:1]  

12 And again, Isaiah says,

“The Root of Jesse will spring up,
    one who will arise to rule over the nations;
    in him the Gentiles will hope.” 
[Isa. 11:10]   (Romans 15:7-12)

Kidner continues: “The very diversity of God’s subjects comes out in the expressions all nations… all tribes (rather than ‘all peoples’…) … and this variety reappears in the multitude of Revelation 7:9-10” (# 29) as the Apostle John writes:

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

In my own life I have worshiped our Godand [Jesus] the Lamb with people from a variety of nations, tribes, peoples and languages – including from Pakistan, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Europe, the Americas, Australia and the Pacific Islands, Indonesia, Africa and the list goes on and on. Truly, John’s vision is already a reality in our world.

And why are so many drawn to such worship? Well, there are many reasons, but simply, to quote our psalmist:

For great is his love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Kidner concludes, “the emphasis of this second line can be summed up by saying that God’s plans and promises are as fresh and intact now as on the day they were made; and they will remain so.” (# 29)

I trust that, on that day John was speaking about, you will be one of those amongst the great multitudestanding before the throne and before the Lamb.

In the words of Paul:

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  (Romans 15:13) Amen.

[Photo above: taken from the Kalbarri Skywalk or Kaju Yatka meaning ‘walk to sky’ in the indigenous language of the Nanda people of this region in Western Australia]

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