Nations and all its peoples should praise the Lord

Psalm 117

This is the shortest Psalm as it contains only 2 verses! Yet, its message is so powerful! It tells us that all the Nations and all its peoples should praise the Lord, vs 1. And the reason for us to do so, (that is given in this Psalm), is because God’s merciful kindness is great towards us and His faithfulness (some translations say ‘truth’) endures forever, vs 2! We cannot be mercifully kind to someone, and forever faithful to him/her, no matter how they may treat us, unless we love that person very much!

Behold! What manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God, 1 John 3:1. Greater love has no man than he lays down his life for his friend, John 15:13. For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3:16.

These 3 Scriptures show us to what extent God has loved us, viz to the point of sending His only begotten Son to die for us! Further, He has loved us to the point of making us His very own sons, and that too, not because we were perfect, for the Scriptures tell us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:6! What more could we ask for!

If Eve had this revelation, she would never have doubted God’s love for her in the garden of Eden, and so would not have been deceived by the devil who coaxed her to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, by giving her the false impression that God didn’t really seek her welfare in giving them that commandment! That’s how important it is for us to come to know and believe the love that God has for us, 1 John 4:16, for when we do so, we will be assured that all God’s commandments are given to us in perfect love and so we will never want to disobey even a single one of them, no matter what our feelings tell us!

As we walk in such obedience, we get perfected in love, 1 John 2:5, and being perfected in God’s love, we will have no cause for fear, for perfect love casts out all fear, 1 John 4: 18. And our love (obedience) for God will not be motivated because we are afraid that He will punish us if we disobey, but rather, since He first loved us, we are pained to see Him pained when we disobey Him and hurt ourselves as a result of our disobedience, 1 John 4: 19, and from this love for God will also flow a love for our brother/sister too, 1 John 4: 21! It is, therefore, that the Psalmist tells us to praise God for His merciful kindness and His faithfulness!

Also, we will do well to note that the disciple John who got this revelation, and wrote about it in most of the Scriptures quoted above, was the one who was the closest to Jesus and often leaned upon His breast! He was also the one who could possibly be living till Jesus comes, John 21:22,23; and who when thrown into boiling hot oil, (as history records), could not be killed!

This happened before he was exiled to the island of Patmos for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, Revelation 1:9. So, he writes from experiencing the love of God for himself and its power to carry us through the toughest trial, as well as, help us stay in love towards the most difficult people that we could encounter!
So, we understand that it is only he who understands how much he has been loved and forgiven, will also love much, John 7:47, and forgive others much too!

May each of us realise how much we have been loved and forgiven, for it is only in that proportion that we be able to love Him and others too and truly praise Him in return! Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.