Psalm 117 is a mere two verses. Psalm 117 is the middle chapter of the Bible, being the 595th Chapter. Psalm 117 is also the shortest chapter of the Bible. Lots of uniqueness for a chapter that is so small. Yet it also contains some powerful words. This two-verse chapter consists of an order to joyfully praise Lord for his kindness, mercy and love. In the ESV version of the Bible, it is only 28 words long. In the original Hebrew, it shrinks further to 17 words.
“Praise the LORD, all nations”! The one who is to be praised is the LORD. LORD is translated “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” in some translations. This is the name that God used for himself, when he entered into a covenant relationship with the nation of Israel. We are commanded to praise or speak highly of the LORD, to glorify him with our speech, to boast about him. All nations has as its primary reference non-Israelites. It is sometimes translated Gentiles. This command to praise the LORD is for all people. We are all charged with praising the LORD – all peoples, no exceptions!
“For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever”. God’s love for us is great. It is undeserved and comes as a result of the God’s mercy and grace. He gives it freely to us and it continues steadily for all time. The faithfulness of the Lord refers to his trustworthiness. This love is based on God’s faithfulness and will last forever. It can be literally translated as lasting to the vanishing point of time. It quite simply means always. It will never come to an end!
The chapter ends with “Praise the Lord”! That’s how this chapter begins, and now how it ends. We learn about God through this short psalm.
- In his attribute — he is always faithful.
- In his revelation — always infallible.
- In his action — always according to promise.
God is worthy of our praise. He loves us beyond what we deserve. He cares for us and blesses us far past what our actions would create. He is the LORD and all people need to lift up His name!