Blessed is the Nation Whose God is the Lord
Pastor Tony Chute
Overview: The Psalmist begins with a command for the people of God to find their joy in the Lord in light of His glorious character and sovereign rule over all the earth. Though God rules over all, Israel was particularly blessed as the one nation chosen by God to demonstrate His glory and power to all the nations. Their special status also brought significant responsibilities, including living godly lives, expecting godly leadership, and depending on God for all things. When Israel failed in these areas, the nation as a whole suffered the consequences of Divine judgment; however, the Lord preserved the faithful by enabling them to remain glad in Him as they waited for a better world to come.
- As the people of God, we are called to rejoice in the unchanging character and unrivaled power of the Lord regardless of our current circumstance.
- As the church of God, we are called to proclaim the gospel to all nations without government support and regardless of government opposition.
- As citizens of a country particularly blessed by God, we are called to value godly character and continue to trust in God regardless of national advantages.
- As pilgrims on the pathway to the city of God, we are called to long and look for the world to come regardless of the pleasures and pains of this life.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
- What national advantages did Israel have as God’s chosen people? What national advantages do Americans have in light of the Judeo-Christian heritage? What responsibilities come with these national advantages?
- Are you able to rejoice in the Lord as described in verses 1-3, regardless of your circumstances? In what ways can you ensure that national discourse and division do not disrupt your joy in the Lord? In what ways can you ensure that discussion over political issues does not divide you from brothers and sisters in Christ?
- How are God’s character and God’s sovereign rule depicted in verses 4-7? How would you explain to someone who is not a believer that “the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord” (verse 5)? Do you find a mandate for missions implied in verse 8?
- Verses 16-17 serve as warnings to those who trust in national standing or political strength rather than the Lord and His protection. In what ways do you find people trusting in national blessings rather than the One who provides those blessings?
- What examples from Israel’s history depict Divine judgment? Do you believe that God judges nations still? If so, on what basis? What promises does God provide in this Psalm for those who remain faithful to Him even when their nation has abandoned Him?
For Further Reading: Bruce Ashford and Chris Pappalardo, One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics (B&H Academic, 2015)