A devo on Psalm 117
Guzik quotes Boice in stating that Martin Luther expounded this brief psalm into the following categories: (1) prophecy (the Gentiles will participate in gospel blessings), (2) revelation (the kingdom of Christ is not earthly and temporal but rather heavenly and eternal), (3) instruction (we are saved by faith alone and not by works, wisdom, or holiness), and (4) admonition (we should praise God for such a great salvation).”
1 Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!
The past psalms have been instructing three groups to halal Yah: the house of Israel (the chosen people of God through Abraham); the house of Aaron (the priestly line that intercedes to God on behalf of man); and those who fear the Yah. Today the psalmist is opening the playing field to all nations and all peoples. There isn’t a nation or a people group that isn’t chosen and invited. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” Ps. 24:10. God created all things and for his pleasure they were created – all of them (Rev. 4:11) That boggles my mind.
God promised our Father Abraham that through him all nations would be blessed, Gen. 12:3. Maclaren teaches that, “The fire was gathered in a grate, that it might warm the whole house. All men have a share in what God does for Israel.” What a beautiful picture.
2 For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the Lord!
God’s kindness, hesed, is great. That means it is strong and powerful and that it makes one strong and powerful. We see a sublime balance of God’s love or merciful kindness hand in hand with the truth of God. Many heresies arise from taking one without the other. Each becomes as soggy toast without the other and is strengthened greatly by the other. “Consider the kindness and sternness of God…” Rom. 11:22. They are two wings on the same bird; two sides of the same coin.
As a hallel psalm, this is a psalm that Jesus would have sung with his disciples before heading out to the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal. He created it. He bought it with his blood. The earth is twice his. No wonder he can then say, “Ask of me and I will give you the nations as an inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.” Psalm 2:8. Please reread Psalm 117 from his perspective and with your eyes opened to what we’ve discussed.