C. S. Lewis noticed that when people find something they love, they naturally want other people to join them in praising it. “Isn’t the painting beautiful?” “Wasn’t that play magnificent?” He reflected upon the reason for this: “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.”
In today’s psalm, the writer encourages all the nations to “Clap your hands . . . shout to God with cries of joy” (v. 1). He was so delighted in God that he wanted the whole world to join him. God had done great things for Israel. He had subdued the Canaanites under the leadership of Joshua during the period of the Conquest (v. 3). He had fulfilled His promise to Abraham that Israel would dwell in the land of Canaan (v. 4). This demonstrated His love for Israel and His faithfulness to them (v. 4).
God is also to be praised because He is “awesome” (v. 2). He rules over the nations and is “greatly exalted” (vv. 8–9). This psalm envisions God ascending to His heavenly throne and ruling over all people (vv. 5–8). In a final picture of God’s universal rule, the poet describes how “the nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham” (v. 9). Even though this psalm began by celebrating things God had specifically done to help Israel, it ends by presenting a vision of leaders from every nation assembling with Israel in homage to God. This anticipates the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that through his offspring “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:3).
>> One way to think about evangelism is wanting other people to join you in your delight in Jesus and what He has done for you. Today, call others to join you in worship of Him—in anticipation of the time when people from all nations will bow in worship (Phil. 2:9–10).