October 08 2023
Today, Sunday October 08
“Be Thankful to Him…”
A Psalm of Thanksgiving
“Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 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. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.”
When you read or hear Psalm 100, you can’t help but picture a group of pilgrims on their way to the Holy City to worship at the temple. After a long journey, they have finally arrived, and the temple gates and the sanctuary are in view. They no doubt have memorized Psalm 100 as one of their favorite songs from their Hebrew hymnbook and they burst forth joyful shouts of thanksgiving and praise singing this psalm!
They have been thinking about the goodness, the mercy (lovingkindness), and the truth (faithfulness) of the LORD over the centuries to their people and their minds and hearts are filled with praise and worship. This theme of worship with thanksgiving and praise for the LORD is repeated often in the history of God’s people. You can see the parallels in Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, and 136:1-3; and also in 1 Chron. 16:34 and 2 Chron. 5:13.)
"O, taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8), and He gives that which is good. “Yes, the LORD will give what is good; And our land will yield its increase” (Psalm 85:12). Most of us have Romans 8:28 memorized, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
“His truth endures to all generations” (v. 5). The word "truth" is a form of the Hebrew word amen and refers to God's faithfulness and reliability. It is the same word used in Exodus 17:12 to describe Moses's hands "staying steady," and in Genesis 15:6 it is translated "believed" ("relied on," literally "said amen to the Lord"). In his final instructions to the nation of Israel Moses told them: “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9). And in his last song he proclaimed: “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4). From generation to generation, the Lord can be trusted (Psalm 90:1; Ex. 34:5-7).
It is significant that the fathers' and mothers' worship today will have an important influence on their children tomorrow. If we are controlled by the Holy Spirit of God and the holy Word of God, we will reveal it in the way we worship God. Instead of imitating the world, we will be led by the Word and the Spirit to be joyful in the Lord, submissive to the Lord, and thankful to the Lord, and the world will see the difference.
Finally, note that a spirit of thanksgiving helps us overcome some of the "sins in good standing" that too often invade our lives: complaining (v. 1), idolatry (v. 2), pride (v. 3), and ingratitude (v. 4). It was when our first parents became "unthankful" that the human race began that terrible descent into sin and judgment (Rom. 1:18-32). “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).Instead of being thankful for what they had, Adam and Eve believed Satan's lie that the Lord was holding out something good from them (Genesis 3), and this led to their sin of disobedience.
My friend, today we need to remember that a thankful spirit is also a triumphant spirit. Yes, we are thankful for what the LORD has done for us in His grace and mercy through Christ Jesus, and we praise Him for Who HE is!