Summary: How’s your praise life?
Everybody Praise The Lord
We are very race conscious in our society. We speak of several races, but in the true sense of the word there is only one race and that is the human race. Spiritually, there are two races. There are those who belong to God and those that do not. In the Old Testament, this fleshed out in Jews and Gentiles. In the New Testament it is fleshed out as the Church or Bride of Christ and the unsaved. Socially, I believe there still only two groups; the cool and the jerks and they come in all races, both sexes and groups. I like the cool and I try not to hang out with the jerks.
The Jews had great difficulty in dealing with their calling to bless the world and were not big on what we would call evangelism. Some of this came from the bad things that happened when they had interaction with the Gentiles. More of it came from pride. The Church has some of this problem as well and for the same reasons. The unchurched or unsaved do not always appreciate our overtures to them and they sometimes react badly. The worse expression might be shown as the persecution of Christians over the years with the most recent expressions being in Communist and Islamic lands. We also suffer from the sin of pride and forget we were once unsaved sinners and we are now only sinners saved by grace. We do not want interaction with the unclean and yet, it is our call to win the nations or Gentiles to Christ.
1 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD. (KJV)
The Jews should have understood why God said He would bless the nations through Israel the descendants of Abraham. (Genesis 12:3) This small Psalm is a call to evangelism and praise. It calls upon all the nations to praise the Lord. Romans 10:12-21 tells us that there is no difference between the Jews and Gentiles and if anyone calls upon the Lord they will be saved. However, they cannot call if they cannot hear and they cannot hear if no one goes and preaches to them.
In this passage, how can the nations praise Him, if no one goes to them and tells them about Him? Unfortunately, the only times the Gentiles heard of Jehovah was when they were defeated in battle. Then they knew that the God of the Jews was strong, but they rarely got to hear of His merciful kindness. If they did, they assumed that that kindness was only for the Jews.
Today, the only time many sinners hear about God and Christ is in a battle where we tell them they are going to Hell for smoking, drinking, and rock and roll, etc. They know that God is a strong God and that He sends people to Hell (untrue), but seldom hear of his merciful kindness. If they do hear about it, they assume it is only for the Christian or it is preached out of balance. Off balance teaching is all wrath and no mercy or all mercy and no justice. They need to hear the balance and that while they will be judged if they do not accept His love, they can receive His love and love is what He really wants to do with them.
The word praise means to boast on Him in a celebrating way. We should be telling everyone how good He has been to us. The idea is to boast on Him like we do about the Cowboys when they win. We should be raving about Him. If we did this more people would be inclined to receive Christ and be saved. Then truly the nations or Gentiles would be full of people praising Him.
The nations should be praising Him because He is good to the unbelievers as well. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. He is not just the God of the “Christian” nations. Acts 4:12 states categorically that there is no other name under Heaven whereby man may be saved. All good things that the Communist, Islamic, Buddhist, etc countries receive come from the God they reject. They may praise their false gods and philosophies, but the gifts come from Christ. Their gods are dead and their philosophies are foolishness. One day, they will see their folly. I pray that it may it be in this life while they can still repent and praise Him rather than bow before Him as judge. It is our calling to help them to do so.
If all the nations that do not know Him should be praising Him then how much more so should we His people be praising Him? We will boast about ourselves, our ball teams, our cars, jobs, ad infinitum, but how often do we boast about the Lord? If we know we receive all the blessings and benefits of this life from Him, then why are we so unthankful? We need to quit whining and start praising!!