Reading the Word
Psalm 117:1–2 (ESV)
1 Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! 2 For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!
Understanding and Applying the Word
This psalm is a summons to praise the Lord. An important thing to notice is that it is a summons to “all nations” and “all peoples.” We misunderstand the Bible if we think that God was only interested in one nation, Israel, in the Old Testament. It is true that Israel was especially chosen by God to represent him in the world, but God’s redemptive plan has always been for all people. We see it here (and elsewhere) in the Old Testament and it becomes even more clear in the New Testament. Jesus tells his followers to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and we see a heavenly vision in Revelation 7:9-10 that includes people from “every nation, from all tribes and people and languages” standing before God in worship.
God is a God of love for all people. He sent his Son into the world that all might be saved. As we proclaim the gospel to the world and as we gather each week with fellow believers, let us praise God together and let us celebrate that God welcomes all who will turn to him, regardless of race, social class, gender, or nationality. Praise the Lord!
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