Joy in Missions

In the psalms worshipping God and proclaiming God to the nations go together in all kinds of places. I am preparing Bible addresses for a missions conference on the subject "The Joy of the Lord in Missions." GREAT title! So I am working through some of the references and discovering just how close the connection is:

Sing praises to the Lord enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done (9:11)

Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to your name (18:49)

...they who seek the Lord will praise him...All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him (22:26-7)

I will permeate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever (45:17)

Clap your hands all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy (47:1)

I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is you love, reaching to the Heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies (57:9-10)

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God, may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy... (67:1f)

All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed. Praise be to the Lord God... (72:17-18)

Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples (96:2-3)

Say among the nations "the Lord reigns"...let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice (96:10-11)

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things...the Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations (98:1-2)

I will praise you o Lord among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples (108:3)

There are probably others too but you get the point. The purpose of proclamation is to draw a worshipping people. And it is done by worshipping people. We don't merely proclaim him among the nations, we praise him among the nations. We extol him and publicly exult in him. We find words and phrases that express our admiration, our adoration, our wonder and amazement. Like people stop open-mouthed in front of the Grand Canyon, when they finally find some words it is usually to turn to a friend and say "wow - just look at it!" That's what we are doing for sake of the nations of the world.

God wants to be worshipped by me, by you and by the nations. Ps 117 sums it up brilliantly in its two short verses:

Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him all you people. For great is his love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.