Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.
There will come a time soon when this psalm’s command will be obeyed. All the nations of the Earth will praise the Lord. Actually, nations don’t praise anyone, it’s the people in them who do, and that’s what the psalmist had in mind. He’s calling everyone to praise the Lord, no matter who they are or where they come from.
Before that can happen, some really momentous events have to take place. Never in recorded history has the entire family of man voluntarily praised the Lord as one. Great judgments will be necessary to rid the Earth of those who insist upon denying the Lord, and millions of people will be swept away in these judgments.
But not a single one of them will be able to cry foul. Every one of them from the first one to die with denial on his or her lips to the last will have had a face-to-face encounter with the Truth. Everyone will have received at least one bona fide offer of pardon. Every one will have heard the gospel, and everyone will have consciously rejected it. As they stand before the Great White Throne every one of them will once again relive each time when the offer was presented to them and will recall in detail the brush-off responses they gave. No one will ever be able to say, “I never knew.”
How do I know this? It’s because I know my Lord. Through His creation, He has made His presence obvious to even the most casual observer (Romans 1:20). The heavens declare His glory, the night time sky proclaims His work (Psalm 19:1-4). He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). He said that whoever asks receives, whoever seeks will find, to whoever knocks the door will be opened. (Matt. 7:7-8) He doesn’t want anyone to perish but for everyone to come to repentance. (1 Peter 3:9)
He’s gone to such extremes to make the path to salvation clear to anyone who will walk it because He loves us too much to overlook anyone.
He’ll try and try to get your attention, calling you first with blessings and if that doesn’t work, with hardship. He’ll bring person after person across your path with the story of His love. At the beginning of man’s existence, He wrote it in the stars so that every father could tell the story to his son as they lay gazing up into the heavens while tending their sheep in some far away pastureland. He’s written it into countless books, not to mention His own, which He’s had translated into all the languages of the world. He’s broadcast it from one end of the heavens to the other on the radio, satellite TV, and the internet. Missionaries without number have carried His message of love to the deepest jungles, the highest mountains, the most inaccessible valleys.
One of the things that will amaze us most when we come into His presence and know as we are known is the extreme measures He’s taken to make sure that not one, not one, of his children has been left to wander alone, never hearing His call to come home.
But as it has been in every generation, many in this one will ignore the call and continue on their own way, the way of destruction. As you give thanks today, give thanks that you’re not one of them. And as you pray, pray that even one more would finally hear His voice and respond, before it’s too late.