The Shortest Psalm—An Encouragement to Praise Jehovah
OF THE 150 inspired psalms, Psalm 117 is the shortest. It reads: “Praise Jehovah, all you nations; commend him, all you clans. For toward us [the Israelites] his loving-kindness has proved mighty; and the trueness of Jehovah is to time indefinite. Praise Jah, you people!”
This song of praise is an invitation for all the nations to praise Jehovah because of having witnessed the grand way in which he has dealt with his people Israel. His dealings reveal him to be a God worthy of praise and commendation.
Despite the sinfulness and repeated failings of the Israelites, Jehovah was merciful and compassionate. He loyally stuck to his promise made to Abraham that ‘by means of his seed all nations of the earth would bless themselves.’ (Gen. 22:18) All during the centuries until that seed of promise finally came, Jehovah God did not cast Israel off as his people. Thus, he proved himself to be a God of loving-kindness. He also manifested his trueness by fulfilling his word of promise. Joshua, for example, reminded the Israelites: “You well know with all your hearts and with all your souls that not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you.”—Josh. 23:14.
Especially with the coming of Jesus Christ as the seed of promise, the time had arrived for peoples of all nations to praise Jehovah. This is the point the apostle Paul made when writing to Christians at Rome: “Christ actually became a minister of those who are circumcised in behalf of God’s truthfulness, so as to verify the promises He made to their forefathers, and that the nations might glorify God for his mercy. Just as it is written: ‘That is why I will openly acknowledge you among the nations and to your name I will make melody.’ And again he says: ‘Be glad, you nations, with his people.’ And again: ‘Praise Jehovah, all you nations, and let all the peoples praise him.’”—Rom. 15:8-11.
While Jehovah God dealt exclusively with the Israelites for many centuries, he was actually working out matters for the blessing of all mankind through the seed of Abraham, primarily Jesus Christ. On the basis of Jesus’ giving his life in sacrifice, peoples of all nations can have their sins forgiven and can gain an approved standing before the Most High. Truly, then, people of all nations have reason to give thanks to Jehovah for his loving-kindness and trueness in producing the seed of promise as a natural descendant of Abraham.