A Season of Psalms - 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!”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“Good things come in small packages” is a common proverb to indicate that the size of things doesn’t always dictate their quality. This is true of Psalm 117, which has two claims to fame: not only is it the shortest psalm in the Psalter, but it’s also the middle chapter in the Bible. Of the 1,189 chapters in the Scriptures, Psalm 117 is number 595, and with only 2 verses and 16 words in the original Hebrew, it’s the shortest of all 150 psalms, but in those two verses is a simple yet powerful statement about the love and faithfulness of the Lord.
“Why didn’t God answer my prayer? How can I praise Him? What has He done for me lately?” Such questions derive from a complete misunderstanding about God, as though He were a cosmic gumball machine in which we pay our money, twist the handle, and receive our prize. Rather, the Scriptures tell us He is a God of great love and enduring faithfulness. King David proclaims the deep, deep love of God throughout the Psalter. In Romans 5:8, God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He sent His one and only Son, that whoever places their trust in Him would inherit eternal life. Consider His faithfulness; when we are faithless, He remains faithful. He keeps His covenant with us, despite us. 2 Thessalonians 3:3: “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” What has the Lord done for us lately? More than we can possibly comprehend or believe! More appropriately, what have we done for the Lord lately? We want to perform great acts of service for Him, to one day be called great in the kingdom of heaven, but see how the psalm calls for one act of service above all else: Praise Him! Extol Him! He is mighty in love and faithfulness. The world may reject us, but His presence will never cease to be near. Who is like the Lord our God?
Further Reading: Psalm 8; Jeremiah 31:1-14
Pray with me:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me! Bless His holy name! Father, I love you, I worship and adore You, and I will glorify Your name in all the earth. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.