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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 117

Preacher's Complete Homiletical CommentaryPreacher's Homiletical

Verses 1-2


1. Authorship, &c., unknown.
2. Probably a liturgical introduction to, or dismissal from, a service, either by separate choirs or the whole people.
3. “The lyrical expression of the consciousness of the Old Testament Church, that it was the object of the special and everlasting care of God; that the former proceeded from His mercy, the latter from His truth; and that for this very reason Jehovah is the worthy object of praise for all peoples.”—Moll. “In Romans 15:11, the Apostle developes the idea which is the germ of the Psalm; it calls upon the heathen to praise God for His mercy and truth exhibited to His chosen, in which the heathen will one day share. (Deuteronomy 32:43.) It expresses all the elements of a Messianic Psalm.”—Speaker’s Com.


(Psalms 117:1-2)

“Some of the Jewish writers confess that this Psalm refers to the Kingdom of the Messiah; … that it consists of two verses to signify that then God would be glorified by two sorts of people—by the Jews according to the law of Moses, and by the Gentiles according to the seven precepts of the son of Noah—which should make one Church, as these two verses make one Psalm.” Notice—

I. That God’s goodness is manifested to meet man’s need. Men everywhere need mercy and truth. All need is represented here.

1. Man needs God’s mercy. Jew and Gentile alike need forbearance and redemption; for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” God’s merciful kindness is great

(1) in forbearing to punish;

(2) in the gift of His Son;

(3) in the mission of His Spirit;

(4) in the establishment of His Church;
(5) in its comprehensiveness

(6) in its regenerating and glorifying power.

2. Man needs God’s truth. The provision for that is, “His truth endureth for ever.” This may mean God’s word, or God’s fidelity to His word. Both are true. Consider the state of the world without the Bible. Natural religion is only known when Bible light is thrown upon nature. Man needs

(1) the true knowledge of God;

(2) guidance in his duty;

(3) comfort in his trouble;

(4) a revelation of his hereafter. Nothing supplies that need but God’s truth. From that truth God has never swerved. He has never repealed it. He has ever fulfilled it. What was truth to Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, is truth to us, and will be throughout the ages.

II. That the divine goodness shall be universally recognised.

1. Why? Because

(1) it deserves to be.

(2) Because the order of things destines it to be. It was so at the beginning; it must be so at the end.

2. By whom?

(1.) By the Jews. The Cross is now a stumbling-block because the veil is on their hearts (Romans 11:0). But that veil will be removed, and “all Israel will be saved.”

(2.) By the Gentiles, to many of whom both the Cross and its revelation are foolishness. They shall yet confess it to be the wisdom of God. “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,” and every tongue shall confess that Christ is “the Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel.”

3. How? By praising God.

(1.) Gratitude.

(2.) Consecration.

III. That universal recognition will characterise the redeemed and glorified Church for ever. (Revelation 7:4-12; Revelation 9:5-6.)

IN CONCLUSION.—(i.) When is the implied prophecy of our text to be fully realised? Apart from the speculations of ingenious commentators, and the tabulations of prophetic almanacs, it will be

(1) In God’s own time.

(2) In the right time. And

(3) “It is not for us to know the times and the seasons,” &c. (ii.) How is the prophecy of our text to be fulfilled? By earnest Christian testimony. The means are efficient: “The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation,” &c. The means are consecrated: “Go ye into all the world,” &c. The means are permanent; “The everlasting Gospel.” We have no warrant for the belief that the presence of the King will effect that for which the power and influence of the crucified and risen Saviour are not equal. Christian men, put on your strength. Vitalise and increase your agencies. Work in faith. “Jesus shall reign,” &c.

Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Psalms 117". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/phc/psalms-117.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.
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