Psalm 117 is the shortest Psalm and the briefest chapter in the Bible, consisting in only two verses, and in our translation having no more than thirty-three words. But size does not always indicate value. A small diamond is worth far more than a piece of coal that is ten times larger. And this Psalm, though very brief, expresses a very important truth.
In this Psalm the call comes to all men: "O praise the Lord, all ye nations: Praise Him, all ye people'' Psalm 117:1. And to get the idea of its significance, listen to what we read in Isaiah 43:21 , namely, "This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.'' Turn also to I Peter 2:9, where we read, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.''
Because of our sinful flesh, it may not seem important or delightful to praise God; but the three texts above reveal how important it is in God's eyes, and how much He delights in it.
God sent His own Son that a people might be formed to praise Him. He poured out the vials of hellish agonies, which our sins called for, upon that Son, in order that we might be called out of darkness into His marvelous light in order to praise Him. Having done all this He surely considers praise to His name important, and finds delight in it.
Well, therefore, may we sing this versification of the Psalm:
With thankful voice praise ye the Lord,
Jehovah's praise in song record;
Yea, all ye people everywhere,
Jehovah's worthy praise declare.
When all the work of salvation is completed in the day of Christ, our lives will be filled with praise to God. And how advanced we are in the blessings of salvation reveals itself in how greatly we delight in praising Him. Examine your life. Praise to God will reveal whether He is forming you for Himself, and whether you belong to that chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation, and peculiar people.
Read: Psalm 65
Psalter versification: 314:1
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter 270
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Through the Bible in One Year
Exodus 39 ; Exodus 40:1-38
Quote for Reflection:
"That [the church] might not think that it was a matter of little or no importance that they gave encouragement to so great an evil, [Paul] shows the destructive tendency of indulgence and dissimulation in such a case. He makes use of a proverbial saying, by which he intimates that a whole multitude is infected by the contagion of a single individual." John Calvin on I Corinthians 5:6 b
- Date: 15-February