The shortest psalm in the Book of Psalms is 117, and yet, it may be listed among the grandest. It is one of only two Psalms that call on all nations to praise God (see also Psalm 47) in the opening verse.
Verse two causes us to pause. God’s great love “toward us:” is that “us” meaning “Israel,” or “us” meaning “all you nations”?
In light of John 3:16, we may quickly move toward the latter interpretation but I’d recommend thinking about the former. Why should the nations rejoice because God loves “Israel?”
They should rejoice because in Israel, they can see what it means to be loved by God. On the other hand, they would hardly be moved to “Praise the Lord” because God loves someone else if the possibility that He loves them is not present. This is one of the challenges facing the Christian Church. We must not only tell the world God loves them, but we must show that He loves us (and how) so that He loving them will have context, meaning, and allurement. People are not nearly as drawn to a message as they are drawn to people. Until we can learn to draw folks to us because of God in us, we will never be able to draw them to God.