“Shout for joy to God, all the earth.” Why should the worship of Yahweh be limited to only one people group on the planet? This was never God’s plan. All are called to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. All are to know the great deeds of the Lord and to celebrate His victories over all His enemies. All should have the pleasure of singing praises to His Name.
The record of the Lord’s dealings with Israel should cause the nations of the earth to seek Israel’s God. “Come and see what God has done.” He made the sea dry land. His people crossed the Red Sea in safety and their oppressors were drowned as the waters returned. “Let not the rebellious exalt themselves.” The Lord is most impressive as He “keeps watch on the nations.”
The peoples of the earth could observe the Lord’s works of redemption and learn about Israel’s God. Despite Israel’s rebellion over many centuries, the Lord preserved His people. Their lives were not easy. The Lord tested them. He disciplined them, training them according to His purposes. Though He put a “crushing burden” on their backs, they were not utterly destroyed. He eventually brought them out “to a place of abundance.”
What was the end result of centuries of wrenching history? The Lord was purifying for Himself a holy remnant who would come into His house with sacrificial worship. They had learned to call upon the Lord when they were in trouble. They would remember to keep their promises to the Lord. Their mouths would be filled with the high praise of the Almighty, and they would not cherish sin in their hearts.
But did Israel ever obey this way? The nation as a whole did not have such a great record of steadfast devotion. The second half of the psalm moves away from the plural “we” and “us” to the singular “I.” One Man would truly obey the Lord. One Man would secure the glorious righteousness which would bring heavenly riches to all those who would call upon His Name. Jesus alone would be the obedient Son of the Father. Through Him a pathway of peace and blessing has come to all the nations. “Come and hear, all you who fear God.” Now all who trust in Jesus have been given the words of confident praise: “Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, we call everyone everywhere to submit to Your glory and to shout for joy. We know that our Redeemer lives. He has heard us in the day of impending doom. We live, O God, for You have rescued us. We have known Your discipline in a time of fatherly chastisement. Our training is swiftly coming to a close. You have heard our prayers, and You will take us to a place of perfect righteousness and safety.