Before sharing with you some thoughts about one of the Old Testament psalms, I want to give a sincere word of thanks to those who read this twice-a-month column, whether regularly, occasionally or “hit and miss.” There is no better way to spend our time than in “Thinking of God” as he reveals himself to men.
The brief 100th psalm reads as follows: "Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Coming into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations."
Some suggest Moses as the author of these verses, although it isn’t certain. Nevertheless, they are among the most memorable in the entire psalter. A work of praise and thanksgiving for the Lord’s mercy, it suggests a closeness between God and the writer. A brief look at a few of the attitudes it encourages can be helpful in our appreciation for our maker.
God’s people are called to be joyful in our praise of God. Some versions use “shout” rather than “noise.” Worship is often expressive of delight with the Lord’s blessings. We are glad to serve him, praising him with singing. Being in his presence ought to cause wonder at his power.
There is no room for personal pride when we consider the Lord as our creator. As such, we belong to him, just as sheep belong to their shepherd. This echoes David’s affirmation of the Lord as his shepherd in the beloved 23rd psalm. In the New Testament, the apostle Peter reveals that “...when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4). The pasture is the place where the sheep find their nourishing food.
We are encouraged by the psalmist to “bless his name” (100:4). This is what we do when we offer the Lord our “thanksgiving” and “praise.” David expressed his desire in Psalm 103:1 to “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!”
The emphasis here is that the pasture belongs to the Lord who provides our needs. Thanksgiving, praise and blessing are due him, since he is good, his love is unwavering and his faithfulness to his people extends to every age. Peter introduced Jesus to Cornelius and his household as one who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). What a simple yet profound view of the loving, benevolent nature of the savior.
This psalm expresses an attitude of worship that should characterize the child of God every moment of life.