Read Psalm 117
1 Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
2 For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.
Yes, that’s the whole chapter. Two verses. Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible, but despite it’s length, we can still learn a lot from it this morning. So go read it again (it shouldn’t take too long), or as many times as it takes to let the words sink in, and then let’s dive in together.
Our reading today begins with a simple command to all the nations: Praise the Lord. This command is repeated in the next line, and the last line of the chapter. When the Bible repeats something, it means we should be paying attention. It’s the author’s way of telling you something in a way that you can’t miss or ignore. It’s a simple command, but despite how clearly the Bible commands us to do this, many of us fail to do so. As we see this command, we should think about how often we praise the Lord and how we can do so more consistently.
For some of us though, we might not see the point. “Why should I praise God? What has He done for me recently that gives me a reason to praise Him? What makes Him worthy of my time and praise?” We only need to look into the second verse to find reasons–His unfailing love is powerful, and His faithfulness endures forever. His love doesn’t fail. Ever. And His faithfulness endures. Forever. He doesn’t love us until we mess up or fall short. He doesn’t stop being faithful even when we turn away from Him.
So now we know that we should praise God, and we know why. But what exactly does that mean? This is what gotquestions.org says in response to the question “What does it mean to praise the Lord?”:
Whom do we praise? The Lord alone (Psalm 148:13). How do we praise Him? With singing (Psalm 149:1), with dancing (verse 2), with musical instruments (Psalm 150:3), with our words (Psalm 35:28), with our actions (Colossians 3:17), with our uprightness (Psalm 119:7), and with all our hearts (Psalm 86:12).
Today’s reading was shorter than normal, but that doesn’t mean we spend less time with God. With this extra time, challenge yourself to really go through the questions, and write down your answers somewhere. Use the rest of your time praising the Lord, because His love never fails.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how successful are you at living a life of praise? Why did you pick that number?
- How have you seen God’s unfailing love and faithfulness in your life?
- What is your favorite way to praise God? This could be listening to worship music, serving His people, or thanking Him in prayer.
Did You Know?
Psalm 117 is not just the shortest chapter in the Bible, but also the middle chapter. It is the 595th chapter, with 594 chapters before and after it. The command to Praise the Lord is literally at the center of the Bible.
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