“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 forever. Praise ye the Lord.” (Psalm 117)
This is the shortest of the Psalms. Sometimes the most important things that God says, He says in few words. This brief Psalm is addressed to all the nations of the earth. God is interested in all nations knowing Him as the one true God of the earth. Taken in its simplest form, the main message here is that the God of the Bible, The God of Israel and of the Church, and to the complete exclusion of all other so called “gods” of other religions and nations, is the only God that exists. This reality is stated here in the simplest and most categorical form: All the nations, and peoples of the earth are to worship the only God there is: The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; that is, the God of Israel Who is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
This Psalm shows us, again, how the God of Israel, the God of all the earth desires and invites all nations to know Him and to praise Him. This is a clear indication that the idea of a nation being a “Christian,” or “Jewish” nation is very Biblical. Now, most of the nations of the earth do not belong to the Lord.
Since the scattering of the people at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11), mankind has been running away from God, and their minds, for the most part have been blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan is still blinding the minds of the people of the nations today by his many lies. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Religious Christianity that adds works and rituals to the Gospel, Judaism that rejects Jesus Christ as the Messiah, Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses cults, Occultism, Satanism, Wicca, Atheism, Communism, Humanism and many, many more false and unbiblical religious movements and beliefs have all served to draw the nations away from God. Thus the confusion of Babel continues today.
Another movement that draws many thousands away from the Bible and from the one true God is the emerging church. The misguided leaders of this man made trend have largely bought into the lies of postmodernism. Postmodernism teaches that truth is not a “destination,” but a “journey.” As applied to spiritual truth, postmodernism makes biblical and absolute truth unnecessary and even a hindrance to a successful spiritual and social life. Because of the postmodern approach of the emerging church, many strange people have become both the spiritual and political leaders of America. Consequently, America, following the same pattern as Europe, has in recent years, moved farther away from God than ever. Many of the emerging church leaders are proud of their efforts and results. The Supreme Court’s decision for “gay marriage” was applauded by many so called “spiritual leaders,” many of whom count themselves as promoters of the emerging church postmodern mentality.
These false teachers celebrate “marriage equality,” as many of them like to call it. And some even applaud the public display of “gay pride,” and would have every young man in America questioning his gender identity if they could. Many in this movement are working right along with some emerging church leaders to accomplish this goal.
Yet, here, in Psalm 117, we see that God still calls out to the nations to “praise the Lord.” The Psalmist, directed by the Holy Spirit, made a definite prophetic declaration as to God’s unchangeable truth. This Psalm, as well as the entire inerrant Bible views truth as propositional, absolute and knowable. This declaration even goes out to our postmodern, morally and spiritually confused and cowardly age, stating in absolute terms: “the truth of the Lord endureth forever.”
Yet, today, we are told to celebrate the idea that America is no longer a “Christian” nation. One popular emergent preacher actually stated that we would not want to go back to being a Christian nation. I believe that those who are willing to surrender God’s truth to those who are the enemies of God’s truth probably never believed God’s truth in the first place!
Paul prophetically declared that these type of religious leaders would appear in the “latter days.” He said that we might identify them as “Traitors, that is, to biblical truth and to the Lord Himself, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” Paul commanded us: “from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:4-5). Really!! Paul did not say: “Join with them,” or, “tolerate them in your denomination,” but, “from such turn away.”
Generally, nations are influenced to turn away from God, not by political leaders, but by the religious leaders who offer up their “priestly blessing” for those who will fill those government offices and courts. President Obama’s promise to “transform” America had plenty of encouragement from the “religious” leaders to do so. Today, we see that the Obama campaign slogan, “transform America” was actually code for “turn America away from the God of the Bible to the god of Islam, or Atheism.”
But each Christian, who has had a genuine born-again experience with Jesus Christ and who still believes in the Bible as God’s infallible Word, must decide if he or she will stand strong for truth in the days ahead as we watch for the Lord’s coming and the rapture of the church.
We must not overlook the reality that there are many pastors who are preaching truth to their people. Some are enduring the browbeating of some of the members of their churches or denominations, pressuring them to conform their theology and methodology to any or a combination of all of the current and crowd attracting trends of our day. These are popular trends such as the Calvinistic-Charismatic, Contemplative-Mystical, Seeker-Friendly, Purpose Driven and, or Emergent-postmodern movements. Much prayer is called for for such preachers as those who are standing firm against these trends and faithfully preaching dynamic expository sermons from God’s Word. Generally, they are pastoring smaller, struggling churches where the temptation to compromise and jump onto the emerging church bandwagon is strong. These pastors and congregations are on the “front lines,” of the great battle against the mighty current of latter day apostasy.
Even though the hour is late, the time is more right than ever to make known the wonderful salvation that is available to all through faith in Jesus Christ. No matter how many influential religious leaders ignore the teaching of prophecy, the doctrine of the return of Jesus Christ is still true! While many are mocking the teaching of His coming, even from the pulpits of churches of America, this nation is still founded upon the abiding principles of Scripture. America was founded as a Christian nation by being based upon Judeo-Christian principles of government. We have been led away from these principles, but we should and can return, as a nation to God and to our founding biblical precepts. I believe God actually raised up America largely to shelter the Jews and to help establish and defend the nation of Israel in these latter days.
There is still a remnant in our land that are calling upon God’s name and who will humble themselves and pray for this land, as well as to turn from their evil ways. I believe America has survived this long because of this praying remnant (See 2 Chronicles 7:14). These type of spiritual warriors will not so easily surrender God’s call for America to be and remain a nation that He can bless and use to protect His nation of Israel, as well as to encourage gospel proclamation around the world. America and, any nation, can be a land that will “praise the Lord,” by turning away from wickedness and false religion, to the Lord and a protector of God’s nation or Israel. Any nation that is anti-Semitic will not do this. This fact is implied in this brief 117th Psalm taken in context with Genesis 12:1-3. The turning to God by the nations will fully happen when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth to rule the nations from Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:16-21, Revelation 19:11-16) Today, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, pray for America! Perhaps this nation will one day, “praise the Lord!”