1 A psalm. For giving thanks.
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; 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 for ever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100 – The thankful heart
(Verse 1) Someone has called this short Psalm ‘an exuberant psalm. It certainly starts with the loudest form of praise possible for a human being (a ‘shout’), in the happiest of all human emotions (‘for joy’), from the widest possible range of worshippers (‘all the earth’), to the most important and influential Person in the whole universe (‘the LORD’). This is a small psalm which seeks to make a huge impact! It is God’s word, so we should heed the commands of this psalm just as much as we need to heed those in the 176 verses of Psalm 119.
Note why this command for enthusiastic worship for all is made: it is ‘For giving thanks.’ The Bible says so much so often about why those who know God should give Him thanks in all situations in our lives (even if not for all situations.) If you have come to know that you have eternal life now, and Heaven to come, through trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, Friend, and loving Master, you will want to thank Him often and always.
Just think of His love for you in dying on that cruel cross, bearing your sins, taking your punishment for them, and being separated from God the Father for the only time in eternity. He did that so you could be forgiven and know Him personally both now and forever. Even if you have not yet turned from your sins and trusted Jesus, surely you can see the most important thing in life is to be ready for its end, and to know God as your Father throughout eternity. To come to know Jesus really is a cause to give thanks. There are many other daily blessings, large and small, to thank God for as well.
(Verse 2) All that explains why you should come before Him in ‘gladness’ and with ‘joyful songs’. Even if your vocal chords are out of tune, your heart can be in tune with God through your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Your heart will ‘sing’!
(Verse 3) ‘LORD’, in capitals, refers to our covenant-keeping God. His Hebrew name, spelled ‘YHWH’, was thought to be far too holy to say out loud and became ‘Jehovah’ to say easily. God, the great Creator made us as body, soul and spirit. When Jesus becomes our Saviour and Shepherd, we become His people, and spiritually one of His sheep in His flock. He then protects, feeds, cares for, guides and blesses us. (Read Psalm 23 to see just how blessed.)
(Verse 4) The way to worship God is to praise Him for who He is and for what He has done for you. If you know Christ as your Saviour do thank Him and remember His name. Your Saviour is the ‘Lord Jesus Christ’: so, He is ‘The Sovereign God, who saves, and the anointed Messiah and the eternal Son of God’. His other name, ‘Emmanuel’ simply means ‘God with us.’ Jesus is fully God and fully Man. He is the only sinless and perfect Man who ever lived and died – and, in His case, rose again and ascended to Heaven!
(Verse 5) The LORD’s love and faithfulness will never end in your life or in all eternity!