The author and singers of Psalm 117 urge people everywhere to praise God. People from every nation and every group of people on earth should praise him, they declare.
The reason that they give is extraordinary; however, perhaps we do not realise that when we first read the Psalm. The singers mention Godís love and his faithfulness, in other words, the fact that he always carries out his promises.
That is extraordinary because the singers refer to Godís love Ďto usí (Psalm 117:2), in other words, to Israel. The author of the Psalm and all its original singers belonged to Israel. Also, Godís promises are firstly to Israel, rather than the other nations (9:4). So, people in every nation should praise God for his love and faithfulness to Israel (15:8-9).
We ask why people in other nations should praise God for his love to Israel. The answer is that God uses Israel to show his kindness to people in other nations (11:12-15). Godís promises to Abraham, from whose family Israel came, were for the benefit of people in all nations (Genesis 12:3).
Christians have a special reason to thank God for his goodness to Israel (11:12). Christ belongs to Israel (9:5); so do Paul and all the first Christians. Israelís people, the Jews, originally gave the Bible to Christians; Israelís people taught the Christians how they could know God. So, in Psalm 117, Israelís people are right to encourage the whole world to praise God with them. Israelís God is the God of the whole world, and everyone should praise him.
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 700+ page course book.
© 2018, Keith Simons.