Praise the Lord

Scripture: Psalm 117, ‘Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!’

 

Observations: Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible, just 2 verses (or just 12 words in the original Hebrew). It starts and finishes with the word Hallelujah, or ‘praise the Lord,’ which is reinforced by the phrase ‘extol him, all peoples.’ As far as I can tell to ‘extol’ someone is to praise them, they pretty much have the same meaning. And the psalmist gives two reasons to praise the Lord. The first is because of the ‘greatness’ of his ‘steadfast love.’ The word ‘great’ can be translated as mighty, or powerful, or superior. And the phrase ‘steadfast love’ translates the Hebrew word ‘hesed,’ which refers to God’s covenantal love, a love that never fails, that is steadfast, or dependable. Secondly, we are to praise the Lord because his ‘faithfulness endures forever.’ The word faithfulness ‘emeth,’ is another significant Hebrew word that describes God’s trustworthiness, the fact that God will remain true to his promises. The point the psalmist is making is that our hope and joy and peace are founded on God’s love and faithfulness. If we are in a covenant relationship with God we are in the best place possible. We have every reason to praise the Lord.

 

Application: Firstly, do you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Have you experienced God’s love in Jesus? Has God promised to forgive all your sins through your faith in Jesus’ death on the cross? God’s steadfast love and faithfulness are only experienced through faith in Jesus. Jesus is the expression of God’s love, and the fulfilment of his promises. If you have experienced God’s love and faithfulness, then praise the Lord. Praise him through singing, praise him through music, praise him with his people. Praise him by exercising your spiritual gifts, praise him through your sacrificial giving, praise him in your service. Praise him through your work, praise him in your daily life, praise him with your every breathe! Praise the Lord!

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You because of Your steadfast love that You have shown towards me in so many ways, but especially through Your Son, Jesus who died for me and through his death reconciled me with You. Lord, I praise You for making me Your child, when I deserved Your condemnation. I praise You for Your faithfulness, that despite my failings and my sins, You never give up on me. Lord, I extol You because You are the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and You are worthy of all honour and praise. Lord, may I praise You will all that I am. May I show my love for You with all my soul, mind and strength. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

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