Missiology Through Scripture – Psalm 57:9

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.” – Psalm 57:9

Concern for the nations is not historically perceived as a priority for OT Jews. While evangelism and missions were not central, verses like this confirm the growing of the kingdom was an important pillar of early Israel. The growth of faith was not through conquest or sending missionaries, but through an example of God’s faith in the lives of the elect. The God of Judaism was the Sovereign of the universe, and not simply the Jews. Importantly, God’s elect were always intended to be burdened by reaching the lost nations for God.

Here David sings praises the Lord amidst the nations. He does not ask to reach the people and the nations from the safety and comfort of Jerusalem, but in the presence of the people while standing on their soil. David knew the Gentile nations were not the elect, but that did not mean they were not to be worshipers of Yahweh. God’s elect always have been called to reach the lost, and will continue to be called until Christ returns. John Calvin said, “To proclaim the praises of God to such as are deaf, would be an absurdity much greater than singing them to the rocks and stones; it is therefore evident that the Gentiles are supposed to be brought to the knowledge of God when this declaration of his name is addressed to them.”[1] Reaching of the lost is not new to the NT. Global outreach did not begin with the Great Commission (Mat 28:18-20) or the spread of the new church (Acts 1:8). Reaching of the lost is central to the character and glory of God.

The modern church was built on the foundation of the elect in Israel. Our forefathers and modern Christians were created to leave the known and the comfortable to be among foreigners, in strange lands to share God’s name with them.


[1] John Calvin and James Anderson, Commentary on the Book of Psalms, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 366–367.