A Psalm of praise.
Psalm 100: The word “praise” in the superscription is actually the word “thanksgiving” or, more specifically, thank-offering (Lev. 7:12), that one presented when God had especially answered a prayer or given a great deliverance. The psalm contains a command to serve (verses 1-3), and a command to praise (verse 4-5). Each section is in turn divided into three calls and three causes. These are three calls to serve, “Make a joyful noise” (verse 1), “serve the Lord” (verse 2), and “come before” (verse 2); and three causes for serving, “the Lord is God, he hath made us, we are his people” (verse 3). Likewise, there are three calls to praise, “enter his gates, be thankful, bless his name (verse 4), followed by three causes for praise, “the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, his truth endureth” (verse 5).
Verses 1-5: This well-known psalm, emphasizing the universal nature of God’s kingship, is a benediction to the series of psalms which are occupied with the Lord’s kingdom rule (Psalms 93, 95 to 100). Most of it is a call to praise and thanksgiving, while verses 3 and 5 fix the reasons for that worship.
I. A Call to Praise the Lord (100:1-3).
II. A Call to Thank the Lord (100:4-5).
An exhortation to praise God, and rejoice in him. This song of praise should be considered as a prophecy, and even used as a prayer, for the coming of that time when all people shall know that the Lord he is God, and shall become his worshippers, and the sheep of his pasture. Great encouragement is given us, in worshipping God, to do it cheerfully. If, when we strayed like wandering sheep, he has brought us again to his fold, we have indeed abundant cause to bless his name. The matter of praise, and the motives to it, are very important. Know ye what God is in himself, and what he is to you. Know it; consider and apply it, then you will be more close and constant, more inward and serious, in his worship. The covenant of grace set down in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, with so many rich promises, to strengthen the faith of every weak believer, makes the matter of God’s praise and of his people’s joys so sure. That how sad so ever our spirits may be when we look to ourselves, yet we shall have reason to praise the Lord when we look to his goodness and mercy. And to what he has said in his word for our comfort.
This psalm teaches how and why to worship God. Some believe that this psalm was the conclusion of six psalms used in worship when approaching the temple, and therefore sung when at last the congregation entered the temple proper. At times, it also accompanied the thank offering. Worshipers would recite, sing, or chant this psalm as part of their praise.
Psalm 100:1 “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.”
Worship was characterized by the exuberance of their praise to God, a “joyful noise”. Worship should never be passive (see note on Psalm 66:1).
This Psalm is a call to praise. This call is to all the nations. God hears the praise of the Negroid, the Caucasian, and the Oriental with the same regularity. We are all His children, and He hears our praise. We are told in the Scriptures, that He actually inhabits the praises of all His people.
Psalms 22:3 “But thou [art] holy, [O thou] that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”
Israel is all of the children of God, Jew and Gentile.
Psalm 100:2 “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”
Not with a slavish fear, under a spirit of bondage, as the Jews under the legal dispensation. Not in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit. With spiritual joy and freedom of soul, as under the spirit of adoption. Readily, willingly, cheerfully; without sinister and selfish ends and views. Taking delight in his person, and pleasure in his service; rejoicing in him, without having any confidence in the flesh.
“Come before his presence with singing”: To the throne of his grace with thankfulness for mercies received, as well as to implore others. And into his house, and at his ordinances, beginning public worship with singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (see Psalm 95:2).
If we do not truly enjoy serving God, we are not right with God. It should be a joyful thing to go to church and fellowship with God. One of the things that I believe has turned the world off to Christianity, is that we do not show them the joy in worshipping. We should even enter the church singing praises to our God. If we truly are the bride of Christ, should we not sing the praises of the Groom?
Psalm 100:3 “Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
“Know”: In the sense of experiencing and being completely assured of the truth.
“The LORD he is God”: A confession that Israel’s covenant God, Jehovah, is the only true God.
“Made us”: Though God’s actual creation of every human being is understood here, this phrase seems to refer to God’s making and blessing Israel as a nation (compare Deut. 32:6, 15; Psalm 95:6; Isa. 29:22-23; 44:2).
“His people … his pasture”: The shepherd image is often ascribed to the king of Israel, as well as to the Lord (compare Psalm. 78:70-72; Isa. 44:28; Jer. 10:21; Zech. 10:3; 11:4-17; also Psalms 23:1; 28:9; 74:1; 77:20; 78:52-53; 80:1; 95:7). The figure suggests intimate care (compare Luke 15:3-6). According to the New Testament, the Lord is also the Shepherd of saints in the church age (John 10:16).
There should never be a question in our mind to who God is, or why we worship Him. We are His creation and owe our very existence to Him. Read the 23rd Psalm again, and see the glorious provision the great Shepherd has made for His sheep.
Psalm 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.”
The same with the gates of Zion, loved by the Lord more than all the dwellings of Jacob. The gates and courts were those of the temple. The gates of Jerusalem, within which the feet of the saints stand with pleasure. The gates of Wisdom, or Christ, where his followers watch and wait. The gates into his house, the church, and the public ordinances of it, to be entered into with thankfulness for all mercies, temporal and spiritual; for the Gospel, and Gospel opportunities and ordinances.
“And into his courts with praise”: With the sacrifice of praise as in (Psalm 96:8). Of these courts (see Psalm 65:4).
“Be thankful unto him”: For all blessings of grace in him and by him; for all things, and at all times.
“And bless his name”: By ascribing honor, blessing, and glory to him, saying, “blessed be his glorious name for ever” (Psalm 72:19).
The Jewish people did enter the gates on their way to the temple and entered His courts with praise on their lips. This goes much further than that to the believers now. We should never go to church grouchy and finding fault with everyone and everything. Have a joyful heart ready to worship Him who saved us. Show your thanks by the sacrifice of praise flowing from your lips, coming from a thankful heart.
Psalm 100:5 “For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations.”
“The LORD is good”: God is the source and perfect example of goodness.
“His mercy” (see note on Psalm 85:7).
“His truth”: God’s faithfulness in the sense of keeping His promises.
The word “mercy” is inevitably associated with redemption in Christ. Sinners are saved by His mercy. The phrase “His truth endureth to all generations” pictures the generations being born and dying, one following after another, while the faithfulness of God remains constant. True biblical praise focuses on who God is. What He does is the result of who He is, but His worshipers often never get past what He does.
The Bible is just as current today as it was 2 thousand years ago. The Bible, like God’s truth, is for every generation that lives upon the earth. His Truth shall never stop. Jesus provided salvation to all generations in His one sacrifice of Himself upon the cross. He is good. He will always be good. There is none good, but God. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Psalm 100 Questions
- Make a __________ noise unto the Lord.
- What is the 100th Psalm?
- Who is Israel?
- Serve the Lord with _____________.
- Enter into His gates with ________________.
- His mercy is _______________.
- Who did Jesus provide salvation for?
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