In the book of Psalms we find the longest and the shortest chapters in the Bible. Psalm 119 is the longest, having 176 verses; and Psalm 117 the shortest, having only two verses. But do not brush this Psalm aside as having little to say to us. It presents to us a very, very important calling, one we must not for one minute forget.
Three times in this brief Psalm we are told to praise the Lord. That is a tremendously important calling for man who is made in the image of God. Did He not Himself say in Isaiah 43:21, "This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise?" And the psalmist calls our attention to the fact that all nations and peoples without exception must heed this call. He writes, "O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise Him all ye people. For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord" Psalm 117.
Consider that to praise God is to extol Him for His virtues. And it means that we tell Him that He is good. Praising God certainly includes telling other people how great and good He is. But praising Him means basically that we tell Him how good He is. Our Psalter versification states that clearly in these words:
Praise Jehovah, all ye nations,
All ye people, praise proclaim;
For His grace and loving kindness
O sing praises to His name.
For the greatness of His mercy
Constant praise to Him accord;
Evermore His truth endureth;
Hallelujah, praise the Lord.
Take note of the fact that we sing, "O sing praises to His name" and "Constant praise to Him accord." The idea plainly is that we must praise Him in our prayers as well as in our songs. It is one thing to sing about a person's virtues. It is quite another to go to that person and let him know your good thoughts of him. We are quick to attack some one with our words rather than to extol him for his goodness to us. We are quick to complain about God's works but slow to thank Him.
Speak to others about God's goodness, but by all means speak to Him and "Constant praise to Him accord."
Read: Psalm 147
Psalter versification: #315
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Through the Bible in One Year
Quote for Reflection:
"Some need to be whipped to church, while here is David crying for it. He needed no clatter of bells from the belfry to ring him in, he carried his bell in his own bosom: holy appetite is a better call to worship than a full chime." - C. H. Spurgeon, commentary on Psalm 84:2.
- Date: 22-April