1 Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol Him, all you peoples.
2For great is His love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.a
This psalm is so short and so sweet. Here is,
I. A solemn call to all nations to praise God (v. 1).
II. Proper matter for that praise suggested (v. 2).
There is a great deal of gospel in this psalm. “Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol Him, all you peoples.”
We have here,
I. The vast extent of the gospel church, v. 1. For many ages in Judah only was God known and His name praised. The sons of Levi and the seed of Israel praised Him, but the rest of the nations praised gods of wood and stone (Daniel 5:4). But here all nations are called to praise the Lord, which could not be applied to the Old-Testament times unless the people of the land became Jews and were circumcised; they were not admitted to praise God with them.
But the gospel of Christ is ordered to be preached to all nations, and by him the partition-wall is taken down, and those that were afar off are made near. This was the mystery which was hidden in prophecy for many ages, but was at length revealed in the accomplishment that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, Ephesians 3:3, 6.
1. Who should be admitted into the church-all nations and all people. The original words (גֹּויִ֑ם goim gentiles) are the same that are used for the heathen that rage and the people that imagine against Christ (Psalm 2:1); those who had been enemies to His kingdom should become His willing subjects. The Gospel of the Kingdom was to be preached to all the world, for a witness to all nations, Matthew 24:14; Mark 16:15.
2. How their admission into the church is foretold-by a repeated call to praise Him. The tidings of the Gospel, being sent to all nations, should give them cause to praise God; the institution of gospel-ordinances would give them opportunity to praise God; and the power of Gospel-grace would give them hearts to praise Him. Those are highly favored whom God invites by His Word and inclines by His Spirit to praise Him.
II. The unsearchable riches of Gospel-grace, which are to be the matter or our praise, v. 2. In the gospel, those celebrated Attributes of God, His mercy and His truth, shine most brightly in themselves and most comfortably to us. The apostle, where he quotes this psalm, takes notice of these as the two great things for which the Gentiles should glorify God (Romans 15:8, 9), for the Truth of God and for His Mercy. We that enjoy the gospel have reason to praise the Lord,
1. For the power of His mercy: His merciful kindness is great towards us; it is strong and it is mighty for the pardon of mighty sins (Amos 5:12) and for the working out of a mighty salvation.
2. For the perpetuity of His truth: The truth of the Lord endures forever. It was mercy to the Gentiles that the Gospel was sent among them. The Jews were hardened and expelled, yet the promise took its effect in the believing Gentiles, the spiritual seed of Abraham. God's mercy is the fountain of all our comforts and His truth the foundation of all our hopes, and therefore for both we must praise the Lord.