“O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 117:1-2)
Psalm 117 is especially noteworthy for two reasons. First, it is the middle chapter of the Bible, and, secondly, it is the shortest chapter, with only two verses. Thus, it is significant and appropriate that its theme be that of universal and everlasting praise. The very purpose of human language is that God might communicate His word to us and that we might respond in praise to Him.
The word “nations” in verse 1 refers specifically to Gentiles, while “people” seems to refer to all tribes of people. Two different Hebrew words for praise are used so that the verse could be read “Praise the LORD, all ye Gentile nations; extol him, all ye peoples of every tribe.” In any case, the sense of the exhortation is to urge everyone to praise His name.
The Hebrew word translated “merciful kindness” is also rendered as “loving kindness,” or simply “mercy” or “kindness.” Whichever is preferred, the significant point is that it has been great toward us. This word (Hebrew gabar) is not the usual word for “great” but is a very strong word meaning to “triumph” or “prevail.” An example of its use is in the story of the great Flood. “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth” (Genesis 7:19). In fact, it is used four times in this account of the “overwhelmingly mighty” waters of the Flood (Genesis 7:18-20, 24).
God’s merciful kindness has prevailed over our sin and the judgment we deserve in a manner and degree analogous to the way in which the deluge waters prevailed over the ancient evil world. God’s mercy and truth are eternal, and this will be the great theme of our praise throughout all the ages to come. – Dr. Henry M. Morris
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Sunday School Notice
There will be no Sunday school classes on December 24 and December 31. Classes will resume on January 7 at 9:50 a.m.
Sunday, December 24
No Sunday school today
11:00 a.m. Christmas Service
12:30 p.m. International Lunch
2:30 p.m. Afternoon Praise Service
(No evening service)
There is no Bible study and prayer meeting this week.
No Sunday school today
11:00 a.m. Morning Service – Rev. Cranston
5:50 p.m. Pre-service Prayer
6:30 p.m. Evening Service – Daniel Sima’an
Fellowship following the evening service. Team #1 is on duty.
Week of Prayer
The Shorter Catechism
Q82: Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A: No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God,1 but doth daily break them in thought,2 word,3 and deed.4
1. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
2. The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. (Genesis 8:21b).
3. The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8).
4. In many things we offend all. (James 3:2a).
Bible Questions & Answers For Children
Q30: Why did God not accept Cain’s offering?
A: It was not what God commanded.
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Genesis 4:3-7