The Lord is kind to us as His creatures and merciful to us as sinners,
therefore praise is due Him from all peoples.
1 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 117:1-2 – Praise Him for All His Benefits
Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible and its center; but, small as it is, it breathes a world-wide spirit and reaches out to all nations. “It is a dewdrop reflecting the universe.” The Apostle quotes it in Romans 15:11, as foretelling the call of the Gentiles. Here, as in Isaiah 11:10 and elsewhere, the spirit of the singer overleaps all national exclusiveness and comprehends all people and all time.
Let us learn to exercise the spirit of praise in our daily sphere. Surely we also can say that God’s merciful kindness has been, and is, great toward us. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). The permanence of this love is guaranteed by God’s faithfulness; for his truth is his troth. The shortest prayer of praise should find room for Hallelujah! See Revelation 19:4. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 117:1—O praise the LORD, all ye nations.
This is an unwonted summons from Jewish lips. For the most part the Jews looked with little sympathy on their Gentile neighbors, and had no desire that they should laud Jehovah, save as they became proselytes of Judaism. But where the love of God is strong in the heart, it overleaps the bounds of custom and racial prejudice, and yearns that all the world should know and love the Savior.
“If all the world my Savior knew,
Sure all the world would love Him too.”
We all need more of the emancipating power of the love of Christ, to thaw the icy chains that hang around us, and bid words flow freely from our lips to those whom we had been accustomed to look on as outside the range of our influence. Oh for the passionate desire that God should be universally praised and loved! Oh to be willing to be accounted fools and enthusiasts, if only we may start to praise, lips that otherwise had remained sealed and dumb! Are we doing all we can to kindle the nations to praise? They cannot praise Him whom they do not know. It is mere hypocrisy to bid them praise Him, if we have never sought to spread, by lip or gift, the mercy and truth revealed in Jesus our Lord. Oh that each might ponder the paradox!–
“Christ, alone, can save this world;
But Christ cannot save this world, alone.”
What a lesson is given us by Lough Fook, a Chinese Christian, who, fifteen years ago, was so touched with the condition of the coolies in Demerara, as to sell himself into slavery that he might win them for Christ! He was the means of two hundred joining the Church before he died, five years afterwards. —Our Daily Homily