Why Praise God?
by James P Smith
Psalm 117 (Complete Jewish Bible, David Stern)
Praise Adonai, all you nations! Worship him, all you peoples!
2 For his grace has overcome us, and Adonai’s truth continues forever.
Verse 1 exhorts us to praise the Lord both corporately and as individuals. One may ask the question, why praise the Lord? My life isn't what I thought it would turn out to be, or things are falling apart.
The answer is in verse 2. For his grace has overcome us. His grace is not merely to provide earthly needs or comfort during difficult times. His grace overcomes us! It overcomes my lust, prejudice, jealousy, and every other evil characteristic I have.
The key Hebrew word here is "chesed." The word chesed describes an intimate covenant relationship between two parties. That is the type of relationship God wants to have with us. No matter what situation we're in, God's grace is there bringing us closer to him.
Miles Coverdale completed his translation of the Old Testament in 1535. Coverdale translated chesed as "His merciful kindness is great towards us." Just about every translator after Coverdale used some form of his translation for this verse. That phrase really didn't have any meaning for me, but "His grace overcomes us" is filled with meaning.
What is the purpose God's grace serves? God's grace is preparing us to take our positions in the body of Christ. Each believer has a role to fill in the body of Christ. I cannot take anyone else's place and no one can substitute for me. God has a unique role for each of us. That is what he has designed us to fulfill and God's unmerited grace is the means to get us ready to assume our place.
I was hoping you could take this text and make it better. I am not a preacher and don't always say things as well as I want.