Psalm 117

July 21, 2021

1 O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.

The Point: 

The nations are called to praise God for His mercy and truth.

How do we feel in the recitation of this Psalm? 

In the midst of a cross-cultural crowd representing nations from all around the world, we together praise God with warm hearts for His great kindness towards us. What unites us in this grand celebration of gratitude is our appreciation for God’s mercy.  All of us are recipients of undeserved mercy. We are all washed and made clean in the blood of the Son of God who gave His life that we might live.  Nothing transcends cultural and national barriers better than the love of the Savior! 

What does this Psalm say? 

Verse 1. 

The vision for the international kingdom of the Son of David and the Seed of Abraham goes all the way back to Abraham.  In that man’s Seed, all of the nations of the world would be blessed, and that is precisely what we see in our day.  In fact, there has never been a better time in which to sing this particular psalm.  On any given Sunday, there are believers from multiple nations attending many, if not most, churches in America (and the same could be said for London, Tokyo, Beijing, St. Petersburg, or anywhere else in the world).  The tireless labor of missionaries over 2,000 years coupled with the accessibility of international transportation has enabled a multinational kingdom to proliferate around the world!  

Verse 2. 

Two things about the Lord commend our praise: His merciful kindness and His truth. Without God’s truth we would not know ourselves and our sinful condition, and without God’s mercy there would be no salvation for us.  This is what unites the various cultures of the world. The world attempts to create multicultural unity out of diversity and “racial tensions,” but only heightens the animosity and hatred by the force of law.  Unity is impossible outside of Christ.  When South Sea cannibals, European homosexuals, Haitian Satanists, Japanese idolaters, and American teenage sluggards come together in the Christian church, they bring different cultural sins with them, but they hear the same truth.  They are all hell-deserving sinners in desperate need of the mercy of God in Christ! If they have received the precious blood of Christ, they love a common Savior.  And, they worship in unity.  There is no stronger bond of unity in the universe than this!

If anything can be said for man’s knowledge, man’s medicine, man’s science, man’s psychological explanations, man’s morality, and man’s political theories, it is that they are as variable as the wind.  What is in vogue today is out tomorrow,  but the truth of God abides forever.  It may be hard to imagine a chemistry book being replaced by a new paradigm for understanding the basic elements three hundred years from now, but this is almost certainly going to be the case.  The same Bible will be taught in churches around the world, and the same truths will be as relevant and important for life as they are today.  We should praise God that we have a rock of truth amid the storms of relativism blowing across our postmodern world!

How do we apply this Psalm to our lives? 

Such Psalms remind us of the importance of multicultural and multinational ministry.  The church that is uninterested in the multinational aspect of the kingdom of God does not understand Christ’s vision, and will render itself useless in its ministry work.  Every church today needs to catch the vision of this Psalm, and dedicate a portion of its resources towards multinational ministry and worship. 

How does this Psalm teach us to worship God? 

Occasionally, we ought to find opportunity to worship with men and women from other nationalities.  This may be difficult to do in a farm town in the middle of Iowa, but there are more opportunities for family missions trips to foreign countries today than ever before. Moreover, our Western families may still “adopt” foreign families that live in nations where there is more persecution and resistance to the Christian faith.  It is not uncommon to find Christian families in America who have had Christian “strangers” from ten to fifteen different nations in their homes and sitting beside them in the worship of the church on Sundays!  This is the wonderful fulfillment of the vision conveyed in this great little Psalm!


1. For what two things does the Psalmist praise the Lord in this Psalm? 

2. How do we transcend national prejudices and cultural barriers? 

3. Give several examples of Praise Psalms. 

4. Who is the Seed of Abraham?  What was the promise that God gave to Abraham? 

5. How does God’s truth differ from man’s attempt at knowledge?

Family Discussion Questions:

1. Have we ever had international Christians into our home?

2. What are some ways we can connect and reach out to Christians around the world?