Thanksliving: Giving God Exuberant Praise

Thanksliving: Giving God Exuberant Praise

Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.


Giving Praise to the Lord.

Make a joyful shout, serve the Lord with gladness

The psalmist does not declare God’s sovereignty. Neither does he extol God’s amazing character. Instead, he commands that we give God His due, worship and service.

{Cornerstone Commentary: “The crescendo of praise that has been building since Psalm 93 reaches a climax in Psalm 100” (Howard 1997:180). Psalm 100 brings to a conclusion the central celebration of the Lord’s kingship, a kingship that makes him “Lord of all the earth” (97:5) and “supreme over all the earth” (97:9). His glorious deeds have been published “among the nations,” (96:3) and his righteousness has been revealed “to every nation” (98:2). So it is fitting that Psalm 100 addresses “all the earth” with its invitation (100:1-4) and motivation (100:5) to worship the Lord.


The Invitation/Call to Worship (100:1-4). There are seven imperatives in these verses. “Acknowledge that the Lord is God” (100:3) is the central imperative. It is central in that it is preceded and followed by three imperatives and surrounded by the imperative “come” (100:2b, 4a). It also stands somewhat apart from the other imperatives. Knowing is different from the liturgical actions envisioned in the other six imperatives. Knowing is foundational to doing. At the foundation of worship is knowing the central truth about the one we worship. Simply put, “the Lord is God!” But there were and are many gods calling for worship. Who is this God? He is the one who “made us,” perhaps in the sense that he created us, but especially in the sense that he saved us. 1 And the biblical logic is that since he made us, we belong to him (see 24:1-2). Yet how do we belong to him? One word in the Hebrew gives the answer: ‘ammo [TH 5971A, ZH 6639]—”his people.” Not his enemies. “His people.” And not just any kind of people. We are “the sheep of his pasture” (100:3), “the people he watches over” (95:7). We are the people he loves and cares for, as a shepherd loves and cares for his sheep. In knowing him, we know ourselves, for to know that he is the God who made us is to know that we are the people he loves. This knowledge is the spring from which all the actions of worship flow.


Surrounding this knowledge of who God is and who we are is the dual invitation to enter his presence with songs of thanksgiving (100:2b, 4a). We have responded to the call to “serve the Lord with reverent fear” (2:11), and we have submitted to “God’s royal son” (2:12), so we do not enter with servile fear but to “serve/worship the Lord with gladness” (100:2). And in this spirit of gladness we shout for joy, give thanks to him, and bless his name.}



A joyful shout: “The original word signifies a glad shout, such as loyal subjects give when their king appears among them. Our happy God should be worshipped by a happy people; a cheerful spirit is in keeping with his nature, his acts, and the gratitude which we should cherish for his mercies.” (Spurgeon)


All you landsThis admonition is not only for the House of Israel, it is also for ha’Goyim, the nations. All people everywhere are to worship the Lord, the one true, living, eternal God who is indescribable in majesty, unrivalled in beauty, the source of all things. By His very nature, this is what God deserves.

Micah looks forward to the day when the nations will indeed come into God’s presence with praise: “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. (Mic. 4:1)


Think of this shout as what you might hear when a victorious army returns from battle or for a more modern connotation, the shout of fans of a victorious football team after the Superbowl


Serve the LORD with gladness: The whole earth is invited to serve the LORD. The Psalmist likely had in mind the service of worship or temple rituals, but the principle applies to any service directed to God. Those who serve the LORD should do it with gladness.


Adam Clarke and Charles Spurgeon on serving the Lord with gladness:

“It is your privilege and duty to be happy in your religious worship. The religion of the true God is intended to remove human misery, and to make mankind happy. He whom the religion of Christ has not made happy does not understand that religion, or does not make a proper use of it.” (Clarke)


“As for the true believer in Jesus, he serves his God because he loves to serve him; he assembles with the great congregation because it is his delight to worship the Most High.” (Spurgeon)


Come before His presence with singing: As in many places in the psalms, praise is expressed in song. Singing is not the only way to praise God, but it is an important and chief way to praise Him. I would go so far as to say that exuberant singing is wholly appropriate and, in fact, is entirely consistent with what is known as the “Regulative Principle of Worship.” We are to worship God in the manner that He indicates in the Scripture and right here, in this Psalm, we see that God calls for exuberant praise.

Know that the LORD, He is God: Right here, bring to mind Isaiah 42:8, “I am YHWH, that is my name. I will not give my glory to another or share my praise with idols.

Any other than the Triune God of Scripture is a pretender, a demonically empowered falsity designed to damn your soul. YHWH, alone, is God. There is no other (Deuteronomy 6:4)


“Be convinced of it, ye heathens, whose fantasies have forged false gods; and ye Jews, acknowledge the true God to be Three in one, and One in three.” (John Trapp)


It is He who has made us: YHWH is our Elohim, the creator God of all things. We worship Him for giving us life.

[Albert Barnes: Know ye that the Lord, he is God That is, Let all the nations know that Yahweh is the true God. The idols are vanity. They have no claim to worship; but God is the Creator of all, and is entitled to universal adoration.

It is he that hath made us The Hebrew is, “He made us,” and this expresses the exact idea. The fact that he is the Creator proves that he is God, since no one but God can perform the work of creation. The highest idea that we can form of power is that which is evinced in an act of creation; that is, in causing anything to exist where there was nothing before. Every created thing, therefore, is a proof of the existence of God; the immensity of the universe is an illustration of the greatness of his power.

And not we ourselves Margin, “And his we are.” The difference between the text and the margin is owing to a different reading in the Hebrew, varying only in a single letter. The reading in the text is, “And not <h3808> we;” in the margin, “And to him <h8705>) we.” These words would be pronounced in the same manner, and either of them would convey good sense. The weight of authority is in favor of the common reading, “And not we;” that is, we are not self-created; we derive our being from him. All that we have and are, we owe to him.

We are his people By virtue of creation. The highest “property” which can exist is that derived from an act of creation. He that has brought anything into existence has a right to it, and may dispose of it as he pleases. It is on this idea essentially that all idea of “property” is founded.

And the sheep of his pasture As the shepherd owns the flock, so God is our owner; as the shepherd guards his flock and provides for it, so God guards us and provides for us. (Psalm 95:7]


F.B. Meyer tells us:  “The sense of God’s proprietorship is the true basis of our consecration. We must realize His rights over us before we can freely give Him His due. Those rights are manifold in their sweet reasonableness; but amongst them all, this of creation is one of the chief. God has a right to us because He has made us.”

We give God honor and praise and service because we are the Covenant People-the Redeemed. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Moreover, we have an even better reason to celebrate, we are adopted as children and are now joint heirs with the Prince of Heaven, namely Jesus Himself (Romans 8:17).


If that was not enough, consider Revelation 22:1-5 (NIV) Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Do you really need more reason to celebrate?


How do we approach God in worship? Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.


Nehemiah 9:5 (ASV) Then the Levites… said, Stand up and bless Jehovah your God from everlasting to everlasting; and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.


Exalted above all blessing and praise…God is so absolutely superlative that no words of praise adequately describe Him. We will bless God and praise His Name from everlasting to everlasting, we will never get tired of it. Long past the point where time is no more, we will exalt God’s name above everything.


Now the Psalmist pictures the people of God from all the lands entering through the gates and into the courts of the temple. As God’s people approach, they should do so with thanksgiving, gratitude that recognizes how much God has done for them. In the Millennial Kingdom we will see this happen and will watch, first hand, as the redeemed from the Tribulation and all of Israel who has been saved come before the Throne of the Lamb in celebratory praise (Micah 4:1).


In commenting on entering the courts with praise Adam Clarke says “Publicly worship God; and when ye come to the house of prayer, be thankful that you have such a privilege; and when you enter his courts, praise him for the permission.”


Into His courts with praise: Thanks and praise merge together, as God’s people are thankful and bless His name. When I was a child we used to sing in church,


We bring the sacrifice of praise
Into the house of the Lord.


We bring the sacrifice of praise
Into the house of the Lord.


And we offer up to You
The sacrifices of thanksgiving;

And we offer up to You
The sacrifices of joy


Sacrifices were ended at Calvary but even today we offer up thanksgiving and joy as we celebrate the goodness of the Lord.


YHWH is no longer distant; because of Calvary we can come before the Throne and be received as friends where, once, we were enemies. The Cross is reason enough to celebrate the kindness of the Lord and when you have been given 10,000 years to praise Him for His goodness you will just be getting started.


What is that praise going to look like? What will our fullness before the Throne consist of? The song, “The Mighty One of Israel says it perfectly”


The eyes of the blind shall be opened and they’ll see

The ears of the deaf shall hear

The lame man shall jump and shall leap as a hart

The tongue of the dumb shall sing


Or in the words of Charles Wesley

Hear Him ye deaf His praise ye dumb

Your loosened tongues employ

Ye blind behold your savior come

And leap ye lame for joy


Why do we praise?

{Cornerstone Commentary: The Motivation for Worship (100:5). What is implicit about the character of God in 100:3 becomes explicit in 100:5: “The Lord is good.” The king who is “robed in majesty and armed with strength” (93:1) is good. “The God of vengeance” (94:1) is good. The “great King above all gods” (95:3) is good. The God who “will judge all peoples fairly” (96:10) is good. The God before whom “every god must bow” (97:7) is good. The God who “has revealed his righteousness to every nation” (98:2) is good. The God who “punished them when they went wrong” (99:8) is good. The God who “made us” to be his people (100:3) is good. This is why we shout for joy, worship with gladness, come before him with songs of joy, give him thanks, and bless his name.}


For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.


For the LORD is good: This thanks and praise is right in recognition of God’s goodness. He is good in His plans, good in His grace, good in His forgiveness, good in His covenant, and good in every aspect of His being.


To paraphrase Paul Washer “the scariest truth in the Scripture is that God is good and we are not.” I would add to that “The truth that God is good and we are not may be scary but it is also very comforting. We can rest peacefully in the knowledge that God will always do what is good and right; He is, Himself, the very definition of what is good and right.”

{Cornerstone Commentary: And we are secure in this goodness, because “his unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” He is our God forever. We are his people forever. We are the sheep he cares for forever. So we worship him forever. When we think about the kind of God our God is, is it too much to ask that we worship and serve him with the whole of our lives (Rom 12:1)? We belong to him, a God who is good and loving and faithful. We should honor him with the whole of our lives.}


As Jim Boice pointed out…

“The gods of the heathen were not good. They were selfish and capricious. You could never know when they might turn against you and do you harm. Not so our God. The God of the Bible is and has always been good.”


Ultimately we give thanks to God for grace. Now what is grace? Paraphrasing one of my teachers, Wayne Kinde, “Grace is every quality of God that is brought to bear on our behalf through the Lord Jesus Christ.


Grace saves (Ephesians 2:8-10).


No matter how much sin increases, Grace increases to cover it (Romans 5:20)


In Revelation 22 we will see the Edenic State restored. Imagine, if you can, what the praise will sound like when eyes that have never seen behold the Lamb. Allow your mind to hear the thunder of ten thousands of tongues that had never before spoken as they shout the Lambs praise or see in your mind a host that has never walked before and now, like David of old, they dance with all their might before the Lord.


God will be ours and we will be His. No longer will this wretched body, stained by sin, separate us. It will be like it was in the beginning…we will fellowship with God face to face and will celebrate Him forever!


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