Lord, we celebrate Your dominion over us.
Read PSALM 100
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
a. Psalm 100:3 Or and not we ourselves
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Praise the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness’ (Ps 150:1,2).
This psalm was probably sung by God’s people as they entered the temple gates ‘where the pilgrim crosses from the zone of the profane into the sacred precincts of the temple’ (Robert Alter, The Book of Psalms, WW Norton, 2007, p349). The psalm is structured around the imperatives ‘Shout for joy … Worship the LORD … come before Him … Know … Enter … give thanks … praise’. The word ‘know’ (3) is powerful, carrying the sense of acknowledging and experiencing God, not just knowing about Him. The tone of the occasion is striking – ‘joy, gladness, joyful’. Worshipping God is a privilege, not a chore. As Anderson writes, joy ‘is not an optional extra, but the right mood that befits the blessings which God bestows upon his people’ (Anderson, p698). While we can and should worship God as individuals, there is a special blessing in the shared experience of corporate thanksgiving and worship.
Note the paradox of Israel as God’s chosen people, yet all nations are invited, even summoned, to worship their Creator. Just as Peter needed to learn that ‘God does not show favoritism but accepts those from every nation who fear Him’ (Acts 10:34,35, TNIV), so it would have been a surprise for the Israelites to see God call the nations to worship Him. It reinforces the point that the Israelites in Joshua’s time needed to learn: that the Lord alone is God.
The psalm gives abundant reasons why we sould worship God. He is the Creator; we are His people; He is good and loving and always will be. Goodness ‘is the very essence of God’s nature’ (Weiser, 1962, p647) and the reliability of His grace and faithfulness is a major reason why we should be joyful in our response to God. A further reason for joy is the mind-blowing thought that we, sinful as we are, have been invited into the presence of this God who is wholly good.
Be intentional in the coming week about seeing everything You do as an opportunity to ‘worship the LORD with gladness’.
Lord, we are thankful that we serve a God who is good and whose mercy is everlasting.
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