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! (Psalm 117:1-2 ESV)
I love this Psalm! I love how this Psalm is a call for Jews and Gentiles to praise the Lord! I love how great in this verse is a Hebrew word which means more than large or superior. “In Hebrew the word has the sense of someone or something having prevailed over something else because of his or its superior qualities” (J. Boice, Psalms Volume 3, p. 952). Here the word great means prevailing.
For example in Genesis 17:11 As long as Moses’s hands were raised, the Israelites were winning (prevailing) over the Amalekites. Also Genesis 7:18 and Psalm 65:3 are examples of great meaning prevail. “The point is that when this word is used of the love of God for his people, it also has the thought of God’s love prevailing over any obstacles or enemies” (Boice, p. 953).
Another word in this Psalm that speaks to me is that faithfulness here means amen. This could be translated truth. Amen can mean firm and unshakable. Jesus is quoted using this same word with “Truly, truly.” God alone is truly unshakable! As Boice says, “Strictly speaking, in this verse it is the faithfulness of God that endures forever and the love of God that prevails” (p. 954). The Lord’s love prevails because He does not lie nor change His mind. He can be trusted. Amen!
“Can you say, “I have found that God’s love is indeed great and prevails and that his truth endures forever. Amen.”? If so, you will say as the psalm does, “Praise the Lord.”” (Boice, p. 954).
Father God, may we praise You together and individually. Lord, thank You that Your love and faithfulness prevail regardless of what we think, see or feel. Lord God, thank You that You are Just. Thank You that You are faithful and true! Lord, may we praise You even when it is hard and inconvenient. May we never forget that You are in control. May we never forget that who You are and what You stand for and require does not change, even when society does. Bless this reader with the peace of Your presence. May they call on You today, may they praise You today. Lord, may we never forget that our chief purpose in life is to glorify You! May we live out the mission of this Psalm for all nations and peoples to know and praise You! Thank You Holy Trinity for the gift of salvation. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.