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Why the World Should Glorify the Lord 

Psalm 117

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 1, In the year of our Lord, 2017

Scripture Reader and Reading: Dave Fitzwater – Second Timothy 3.13–17

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – Songs glorifying God


  1. [Show Bible Project video on the Book of Psalms] 
  2. It is important to understand the literary nature of the Psalms. 
  3. What is the purpose of poetry? 
    1. Why does a writer use poetry at times rather than prose?
    2. Poetry is designed to touch the imagination,
      1. so you have to slow down, even stop and see the images.
      2. You have to think about the image.
        1. You have to think about what the poet is saying about the image.
        2. What the poet is communicating?
  4. God used various genres to deliver His truth. 
    1. Genre is French for “kind.”
    2. Are different genres read the same way?
      1. Do you read a newspaper the same way you read a novel?
      2. Do you read a grocery list the same way you do a poem?
        1. Do you read the Song of Solomon the same way you read the Book of Leviticus?
        2. Do you read the Book of Revelation the same way you read the Book of Matthew?
      3. Hebrews 1 affirms that God used different means,

        1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets… (Heb 1.1).
    3. Ecclesiastes 12 confesses that the writer, speaker or teacher
      1. does not assemble his message carelessly,

        9 And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd (Ecc 12.9–11).
      2. Why does the Bible pull us into its message?
        1. Is it merely because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit or
        2. is it also that He used the various literary devices to maximum effect?
    4. Second Timothy 2 tell us to deal with the literary types of the Bible,

      15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2Ti 2.15).

      1. What does it mean “rightly dividing the word of truth”?
      2. It would include interpreting the literary genres of the Bible.
    5. Failing to recognize the different forms of Scripture
      1. have led to false doctrines.
      2. For example,
        1. Transubstantiation
        2. Consubstantiation
      3. Therefore, what is literal must be
        1. interpreted and applied as literal
        2. and what is figurative must be seen as figurative.
  5. The Genre of the Psalms 
    1. What is the literary form of the Book of Psalms?
      1. Poetry.
    2. So what is their appeal?
      1. The psalmists touch our emotions and imagination.
      2. They seek to change us by Hebrew poetry
        1. rather than using logical argument
        2. as Paul does in the Book of Romans.
  6. The Psalms appeal to our emotions 
    1. We have a hard time knowing what to do with emotions,
      1. so we have a hard time knowing how to deal with the Book of Psalms.
      2. Moreover, we have seen people abuse emotion,
        1. so we respond by rejecting it.
        2. They place emotion before truth, and
          1. we say that emotion should be built on the truth,
          2. but in practice we avoid emotion.
    2. In the Psalms, as well as the rest of the Bible,
      1. God does not merely acknowledge our emotions, but
      2. He commands us to have certain emotions.
    3. Many people find the Book of Psalms extremely comforting, because
      1. they have seen their intended use.
      2. They have seen the representative nature of the psalms.
        1. Typically the Bible is a prophet representing God to man.
        2. Typically the Psalms is a poet representing man to God.
          1. A prophet spoke for God to man.
          2. A poet spoke for man to God.
    4. The Psalms give us a strong dose of spirituality.
    5. The psalmists do not merely show us what they experienced,
      1. they invite us to join them.
    6. The Book of Psalms show that in addition to
      1. thinking and acting righteously,
      2. we must feel righteously.
  7. The Psalms appeal to our imagination 
    1. How many people have been reared in the church,
      1. know enough doctrine to pass any Bible quiz, but
        1. it does not seem to have made any difference in their lives?
        2. They know that God is our Father, but
          1. they do not trust Him as a Father.
          2. The fire of faith does not burn in their hearts.
      2. They have countless notes in their Bibles and on notepads and
        1. they can recall the facts, but
        2. it does not live in their imagination, for
          1. it if it did,
          2. it would come out in the way they live.
    2. What is Psalm 23 teaching?
      1. Why did he use the images that he used?
      2. Would Psalm 23 be as memorable as it is,
        1. if David had set out its truth in propositional form?
        2. Why is his poetry so much more effective?
  8. Now let us see the shortest Psalm. 


  1. Psalm 117.1 | Let All Praise the Lord

    1 Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
    Laud Him, all you peoples!
    (Psa 117.1)

    1. What is praise?
      1. Psalms tell us 188 times to praise the Lord.
      2. Isaiah, the Book with the second greatest amount of times, says it 18 times.
    2. Who praises Him?
      1. Gentiles
      2. Peoples (possibly Israel)
        1. The Old Testament told Gentiles to praise the Lord.
        2. Evidently God expected Gentiles to read this part of the Bible.
          1. This just emphasizes my message this morning,
          2. that even we today must read all parts of the Bible.
      3. God created the Gentiles just as much as He created the Jews.
        1. The Old Testament was not God
        2. setting apart the Jews to do something special with them.
          1. The Old Testament was God
          2. setting apart the Jews to use them to do something special for the world.
    3. We praise the Lord and laud Him
      1. By prayer
      2. By worship
      3. By singing
      4. By living
  2. Psalm 117.2 | His Mercy and Truth

    2 For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
    And the truth of the LORD endures forever.
    Praise the LORD!
    (Psa 117.2)

    1. First, the psalmist told Jew and Gentile to praise the Lord.
      1. We could spend many hours talking about why we should praise Him.
      2. However, the psalmist placed something special before our eyes.
    2. His kindness, which is:
      1. merciful and
      2. great.
        1. Kindness is the Lord forgiving the people who crucified Him.
        2. Kindness is doing something good for someone who did not expect it.
        3. Kindness is doing something good for someone not deserving of it.
    3. His kindness is toward:
      1. Israel and the Gentiles, us.
      2. That is how the Psalm began.
    4. Therefore, see how the Psalm ends: Praise the Lord.
      1. Only 5 lines make up this Psalm.
      2. Yet, two of them tell us to praise the Lord.
        1. Does that, along with many other psalms,
        2. clue us in on how important this is?


  1. Take a cue from this Psalm: 
    1. Begin your life with praise.
    2. End your life with praise.
  2. What does this Psalm say about: 
    1. Non-Israelites even during the time the Law of Moses was in force?
    2. Christians and the Old Testament?
      1. God wants all the world, and
      2. He certainly wants Christians,
        1. to read the Old Testament and
        2. to know the Old Testament, and
        3. to practice things in the Old Testament
          1. that do not have anything to do
          2. with seeking justification by the works of the Law.