October 07 2023
Today, Saturday October 07
Joyful and Submissive
A Psalm of Thanksgiving
1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations...
Psalm 100 bears the title: "A Psalm of Thanksgiving." Some translations say: “A Psalm of Praise”. It is a psalm that encourages the people of Israel to come into the presence of Jehovah with joyful singing (vv. 1-2), with submissive spirits (v. 3), and with thankful hearts (vv. 4-5). And my friend, that is the way all believers should enter into His presence, every day and every moment of every day!
We can easily understand the people of Israel shouting joyfully in praise to their great God (vv. 1-2). They were God’s chosen people, and He took them from being a small family in a foreign land and called them to a special land to become a powerful and mighty nation. But the psalmist here also calls for all the nations of the earth to praise Him. This is a recurring theme in the "royal psalms" (Psalms 97:1, 6; 98:2-4, 7; 99:1-2), for it was Israel's responsibility to introduce the Gentiles to the true and living God.
God’s people have always been a joyful people. They have fullness of life because they have found their fulfillment in Jehovah. Jesus said that “He came so that His sheep might have life and experience it more abundantly” (John 10:10). We as Gentile believers are now included in His fold, and we also can shout joyfully and sing songs of praise to our great Lord, Savior, and Redeemer.
Today, the church has been commissioned to take the good news into all the world (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15), and it will be a glorious day when God's people gather at His throne from "all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues" (Rev. 7:9). But our shouting ought to lead to serving Him, for He is the only true God (Deut. 6:13; 10:12; Josh. 24:15-24). Worship leads to service with gladness (v. 2), and true service is worship. If we sing in the Spirit and with understanding, our songs are received in heaven as sacrifices to the Lord.
In verse 3, God’s people are not only to be joyful, but they should be submissive. “Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” The verb "know" means "to know by experience." It also carries the meaning of "acknowledge." What we have experienced in our hearts we openly confess to others and bear witness of our glorious God. (See 1 Kings 18:39.) The phrase "made us" means much more than "He created us," for He also created the nations that do not know Him. It means "Jehovah constituted us as a nation, as His chosen people." (Psalms 95:6-7; 149:2; Deut. 32:6, 15; Isa. 29:23; 60:21.)
The phrase "not we ourselves" can also be translated "and we are his." This connects with the next statement, "We are his people..." (see Isa. 43:1). The image of God's people as a flock of sheep is frequently found in Scripture (74:1; 77:20; 78:52; 79:13; 80:1; 95:7; Gen. 48:15; 49:24; Num. 27:17; Isa. 40:11; John 10; 21:16-17; Heb. 13:20-21; 1 Peter 2:25; 5:1-4). This verse is a simple statement of faith: Jehovah is God, Creator, Redeemer and Shepherd, and we are submitted to Him. If the sheep do not submit to their shepherd, they will stray into danger.
Hebrews 13:15-17 summarizes this for all believers today: “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, … Let them do so with joy and not with grief…”.
My friend, may God help us today to be joyful, submissive, and thankful as we proclaim with gladness the goodness of our Great Jehovah, Lord and Savior, and of our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ!