Jesus shall reign
Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Praise him, all you people of the earth.
For his unfailing love for us is powerful;
the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the Lord! Psalm 117
Despite the persecution of Christ’s followers early on in the life of the Church, the spread of Christianity has been extraordinary. This trend will continue on for the Lord Jesus Christ will reign forever. “‘Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: ‘The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever’” (Revelation 11:15). This is why there will be a constant call to praise and exalt God for He is worthy. The Psalmist from our text calls on all the people; “Praise him, all you people of the earth.” His praise should be displayed to all the nations for the barriers and the walls of division has been conquered. It is the possession of personal relationship with Christ, regardless of ethnicity and nationality, that has brought about this rule to all the peoples. “Now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us” (Ephesians 2:13-14). It is because of God’s merciful kindness flowing from His heart that had touched our misery and need of a Savior. It is His steadfast and faithful love that does not give up but keeps pursuing the highest good of its object. It is His love that will not let go, a love that “endures forever.” Everything we call ‘good’ flows from the fountain of God’s love (James 1:17). The cross of Christ is God’s answer once and for all to those who wonder what is in His heart. It is a heart of love for sinners. This love of God inspired Isaac Watts to write the hymn, “Jesus Shall Reign.” The hymn was widely sung during the missionary endeavor by countless groups of people. In the South Sea Islands in 1862, 5,000 people group sang this hymn as the king abolished the cruel and suppressive laws and replaced them by establishing a Christian constitution. We should find delight in knowing that the praise of Jesus, Bethlehem’s humble child born in a manger, is continuing to spread and that someday soon His “reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth… All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him” (Psalm 72:8, 11). This is what Isaac Watts wrote about as he reflects on the worthiness of Jesus to be praised in the lives of every believer and so should we.
“Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does his successive journeys run, His kingdom spread from shore to shore till moons shall wax and wane no more.
From north to south the princes meet to pay their homage at His feet, while western empires own their Lord and savage tribes attend His word.
To Him shall endless prayer be made and endless praises crown His head: His name like sweet perfume shall rise with ev’ry morning sacrifice.
People and realms of ev’ry tongue dwell on His love with sweetest song, and infant voices shall proclaim their early blessings on His name.”
Noel De Guzman