|Photo courtesy of marcolm, Free Digital Photos|
Psalm 100, A Psalm of Praise
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
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.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.
I learned this Psalm from memory, years before I knew the Lord. Our family attended a church that didn’t preach the gospel, but we did memorize some parts of the Bible, and I learned respect for God and His Word.
This particular Psalm has a lot to say to the missionary woman today. It's all about praise in service.
Let’s look at Psalm 100 one phrase at a time:
- Make a joyful noise—Not a grumpy noise, complaining noise, or a squawk. It’s a joyful noise.
- Unto the LORD—Our “noises” are to be made to God. They’re to be worship!
- All ye lands—If this isn’t missions, what is? In every land. What a blessing!
- Serve the LORD with gladness—We are actually happy serving. We’re glad to clean the disgusting restroom. We’re glad to wipe a snotty little nose. We’re glad to make a meal for fifteen guests. We’re just glad to serve God!
- Come before his presence with singing.—Again here, we have the idea of consciously worshiping God with our voice. We’re singing to Him. We are actually in His presence. I think it’s so easy to lose sight of this when we’re in church singing hymns of praise. Our minds wander, and our lips go through words on a page--especially when they're in another language. But, look at this sentence; our song is an act of worship.
- Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.—The psalmist is very conscious that God is the Great Creator, and we are His creation. The psalmist guides us in our worship of this Great God, and he helps us to recognize how small we are. After all, we didn’t and couldn’t make ourselves! (This is counter-evolutionary thought in this verse, by the way. We weren’t cells that just decided over time to become human. God made us! We're special!)
- We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.—The sheep in God’s pasture are those that know the Shepherd, Jesus Christ. What a blessing to be His people, the sheep of His pasture! We have that sweet relationship of being totally dependent on Him.
- Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.—Here, it’s talking about a city with gates and enclosures.* It’s speaking about God’s abode. Let’s go to God’s house with thanksgiving and praise! Thanksgiving: being mindful of and grateful for all of God’s provisions. Praise: reminding God of His greatness, joyful worship.
- Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.—This is exactly the same as the phrase before it. (When God repeats something in His Word, it means He really wants us to get the message! Thanksgiving and praise—together, in a package—are important to God.)
- For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.—Psalm 100 ends with characteristics of our God: His goodness, mercy, and truth.
Serve the LORD with gladness.
I wonder how many times we serve God with something less than gladness, singing, and praise? (How many times do we think we’re serving people, and we forget we’re serving the Lord, as well?)
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me (Matthew 25:34-40).
Wherever you’re ministering to hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, and enslaved people, when you minister to them, you’re ministering to the Lord Himself. What an awesome thought!
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,
and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall
receive the reward of the inheritance:
for ye serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).
God bless you!
* Online Bible.