“Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.” —Psalm 117
I’ve always had a bit of a thing for trivia concerning things that are the longest, shortest, biggest or smallest in their category. Often these facts are what make such things interesting in the first place! Psalm 117 holds the title for two such pieces of trivia. At only 2 verses long, it is not only the shortest chapter in the whole Bible, but it also happens to be the middle chapter of the Bible as well!
Though such facts are interesting, they pale into insignificance compared to the message God gives us in these few short lines of poetry. This is a Psalm that was never just for one group of people, or one moment in history. The command to ‘praise the Lord’ is given to ‘all you nations’ and the duration of his faithfulness ‘endures forever’. This means that its declaration of God’s love is for us here today just as much as it was for those who first sang it. What’s more, when this was first written, God’s greatest act of love and expression of faithfulness hadn’t even happened yet!
Christ’s death in our place and resurrection to new life therefore gives us all the more reason to join in with the ancient Israelites in the declaration at the end of the psalm, ‘Hallelujah.’ That is, ‘Praise the Lord!’
Dear Heavenly Father,
We praise you along with people from all nations for your love towards all people, and you’re enduring faithfulness through Christ. We pray that the truth of this will take root deep in our hearts, and sustain us through all seasons of life. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.