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"I Will Praise You, for You Have Answered Me, and Have Become My Salvation" January 20

Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm and the shortest chapter in the Bible. It has a simple yet important directive: everyone is to praise the Lord (verse 1). The psalmists typically call for the faithful of Israel to offer praise. But in this psalm, the writer calls for "all you Gentiles"-that is, "all you nations" (NIV)-and "all you peoples" to praise God.

In Romans 15:11 the apostle Paul quoted Ps.117:1 in conjunction with other Old Testament passages to explain that God intended the gentiles to have a relationship with Him as well (see Romans 15:8-12; compare Psalm 18:49; Deuteronomy 32:43; Isaiah 11:10).

Along with the other songs of this section, the psalmist here uses Hallelujah-"Praise the LORD" (Psalm 117:1-2). He also uses the word shavah for "laud" or "extol" (verse 1, NIV). "Laud, which means 'to speak well of,' nicely parallels the term praise, which means 'to be excitedly boastful about'" (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 1).

God is to be praised for His hesed (His loyal, steadfast lovingkindness and mercy) and His enduring emet or truth, implying "faithfulness" (NIV) to maintain His word, to keep His promises (verse 2). Through these, those of all mankind who respond in sincerity and faith may share in the wonderful, eternal blessings of the people of God-for they, too, will be His people.

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