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EDITED BY GLENN PEASE
A psalm. For giving grateful praise. INTRODUCTION
1. SPURGEON, "TITLE. A Psalm of Praise; or rather of thanksgiving. This is the only psalm bearing this precise inscription. It is all ablaze with grateful adoration, and has for this reason been a great favourite with the people of God ever since it was written. "Let us sing the Old Hundredth" is one of the every-day expressions of the Christian church, and will be so while men, exist whose hearts are loyal to the Great King. Nothing can be more sublime this side heaven than the singing of this noble psalm by a vast congregation. Watts' paraphrase, beginning "Before Jehovah's awful throne, "and the Scotch "All people that on earth do dwell, "are both noble versions; and event Tare and Brady rise beyond themselves when they sing— "With one consent let all the earth To God their cheerful voices raise." In this divine lyric we sing with gladness the creating power and goodness of the Lord, even as before with trembling we adored his holiness. 2. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Title. This is the only Psalm in the whole collection entitled "A Psalm of Praise." It is supposed to have received this appellation because peculiarly adapted, if not designed to be sung, when the sacrifices of thanksgiving were offered. See Leviticus 7:12. The Greeks think it was written by David, who here invites all the world to join with the Israelites in the service of God, whose divine sovereignty he here recognises. Samuel Burder. Whole Psalm. If we are right in regarding Psalms 93:1-5; Psalms 94:1-23; Psalms 95:1-11; Psalms 96:1-13; Psalms 97:1-12; Psalms 98:1-9; Psalms 99:1-9 as forming one continuous series, one great prophetic oratorio, whose title is "Jehovah is King, "and through which there runs the same great idea, this Psalm may be regarded as the doxology which closes the strain. We find lingering in it notes of the same great harmony. It breathes the same gladness; it is filled with the same hope, that all nations shall bow down before Jehovah, and confess that he is God. J.J.S. Perowne. Whole Psalm. This Psalm contains a promise of Christianity, as winter at its close contains the promise of spring. The trees are ready to bud, the flowers are just hidden by the light soil, the clouds are heavy with rain, the sun shines in his strength; only a genial wind from the south is wanted to give a new life to all things. "The Speaker's Commentary, "1873.
Whole Psalm. Luther would have immortalized his name had he done no more than written the majestic air and harmony to which we are accustomed to sing this Psalm, and which, when the mind is in a truly worshipping frame, seems to bring heaven down to earth, and to raise earth to heaven, giving us anticipations of the pure and sublime delights of that noble and general assembly in which saints and angels shall for ever celebrate the praises of God. Ingram Cobbin. HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER. Whole Psalm. This is a bunch of the grapes of Eshcol. It is a taste of what is still the promised land. The Jewish church came to its perfection in the reign of Solomon, but a greater than Solomon is here. The perfection of the New Testament church is here anticipated. This psalm teaches, 1. That there will be a joyful state of the whole world (Psalms 100:1). (a) To whom the address is given—to "all lands, "and all in those lands. (b) The subject of the address—"Make a joyful noise." What a doleful noise it has made! (c) By whom the address is given, by him who secures what he commands. 2. That this joyful state of the whole world will arise from the enjoyment of the Divine Being (Psalms 100:2). (a) Men have long tried to be happy without God. (b) They will find at last that their happiness is in God. The conversion of an individual in this respect is a type of the conversion of the world. 3. That this enjoyment of God will arise from a new relation to him (Psalms 100:3). (a) Of knowledge on our part: he will be known as the Triune God, as a covenant God, as the God of salvation—as God. (b) Of rightful claim on his part; (1.) by right of creation—"He hath made us; " (2.) By light of redemption—"Ye were not a people, but are now the people of God, "&c.; "I have redeemed thee: thou art mine"; (3.) by right of preservation—"We are the sheep, "&c. 4. That this new relation to God will endear to us the ordinances of his house (Psalms 100:4). (a) Of what the service will consist—"thanksgiving" and praise. (b) To whom it will be rendered. Enter into his gates — his courts—be thankful unto him —bless his name. That this service will be perpetual; begin on earth, continued in heaven. This fact is founded— 5. That this service will be perpetual; begun on earth, continued in heaven. This face is founded— (a) Upon essential goodness. "For the Lord is good." (b) Upon everlasting mercy. "His mercy, "etc. (c) Upon immutable truth. "His truth, "etc. G.R. 3. ALAN CARR, "A CALL TO THANKSGIVING Intro: This Psalm concludes a series of Psalms that began with Psalm 91 and which look ahead to the advent and coronation of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ. This Psalm has its true setting in the millennial Kingdom during the reign of Christ. A time when all the world will be filled with righteousness and all men everywhere will exalt the Name of the Lord. A time when His praises will fill the earth as they should at all times. That blessed time will be a time when the glory of Jesus will literally fill all the earth. Thank God, you and I that are saved will get to share in that glorious Kingdom some day.
While these things, and that time, are future, there is still an application in this Psalm for everyone here this evening. Because this Psalm is a call to Thanksgiving. The title literally reads, "A Psalm Of Shouting." It is a plea from the psalmist to the hearts of his readers to look to the Lord and to exalt His Name! Tomorrow, we carry out a tradition that is as old as America. In 1621, after a terrible year in which half their number died of starvation or disease, the Pilgrims set aside 3 days in December to praise the Lord for a bountiful corn harvest. Many years later in 1789, President George Washington proclaimed November 26 as a national day of Thanksgiving unto the Lord. This was in response to God's granting American independence from Britain. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln revived this old tradition of rendering thanks unto the Lord, and finally in 1941, the United States Congress decreed that the fourth Thursday in November was to be a national day o Thanks giving unto the Lord God. For many, tomorrow is a day when family gathers together, eats an enormous meal, watches football on TV, and, most important of all, it is a day when they do not have to go to work. I hope that it means more to us than that! In truth, we must never be guilty of allowing our thanks to wait until Thanksgiving to be expressed. We are to be thankful to the Lord every day of our lives. God goes so far as to say that being thankful to Him is His will for our lives - 1 Thes. 5:18. Yet, I am afraid that we are a very ungrateful people! Children are ungrateful to parents, people are ungrateful to one another, and worse of all, people are ungrateful to God. Thankfully, there are portions of Scripture like the one we have read this evening in which we can find, not only a challenge and a call to be thankful, but also plenty of reasons why we should thank he Lord for His goodness toward us. Therefore, since we are on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, let's take a few minutes to look into these verses and try and understand what they teach us about praise to the Lord and about being thankful unto Him. As the Lord gives liberty, I am going to preach for a while on the thought, "A Call To Thanksgiving."
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
1. Barnes, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord - See the notes at Psa_95:1. All ye lands - Margin, as in Hebrew, “all the earth.” The margin expresses the sense. The idea in the psalm is, that praise did not pertain to one nation only; that it was not appropriate for one people merely; that it should not be confined to the Hebrew people, but that there was a proper ground of praise for “all;” there was that in which all nations, of all languages and conditions, could unite. The ground of
that was the fact that they had one Creator, Psa_100:3. The psalm is based on the unity of the human race; on the fact that there is one God and Father of all, and one great family on earth.
2. Clarke, “Make a joyful noise - הריעוhariu, exult, triumph, leap for joy. All ye lands - Not only Jews, but Gentiles, for the Lord bestows his benefits on all with a liberal hand. 3. Gill, “Make a joyful noise - הריעוhariu, exult, triumph, leap for joy. All ye lands - Not only Jews, but Gentiles, for the Lord bestows his benefits on all with a liberal hand. 4. Henry, “The exhortations to praise are very importunate. The psalm does indeed answer to the title, A psalm of praise; it begins with that call which of late we have several times met with (Psa_100:1), Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all you lands, or all the earth, all the inhabitants of the earth. When all nations shall be discipled, and the gospel preached to every creature, then this summons will be fully answered to. But, if we take the foregoing psalm to be (as we have opened it) a call to the Jewish church to rejoice in the administration of God's kingdom, which they were under (as the four psalms before it were calculated for the days of the Messiah), this psalm, perhaps, was intended for proselytes, that came over out of all lands to the Jews' religion. However, we have here, 1. A strong invitation to worship God; not that God needs us, or any thing we have or can do, but it is his will that we should serve the Lord, should devote ourselves to his service and employ ourselves in it; and that we should not only serve him in all instances of obedience to his law, but that we should come before his presence in the ordinances which he has appointed and in which he has promised to manifest himself (Psa_100:2), that we should enter into his gates and into his courts (Psa_100:4), that we should attend upon him among his servants, and keep there where he keeps court. In all acts of religious worship, whether in secret or in our families, we come into God's presence, and serve him; but it is in public worship especially that we enter into his gates and into his courts. The people were not permitted to enter into the holy place; there the priests only went in to minister. But let the people be thankful for their place in the courts of God's house, to which they were admitted and where they gave their attendance. 5. Jamison, “this Psalm is a general call on all the earth to render exalted praise to God, the creator, preserver, and benefactor of men. With thankful praise, unite service as the subjects of a king (Psa_2:11, Psa_2:12). 6. K&D, “The call in Psa_100:1 sounds like Psa_98:4; Psa_66:1. כּ ָל־ה ָאָר ֶ ץ are all lands, or rather all men belonging to the earth's population. The first verse, without any parallelism and in so far monostichic, is like the signal for a blowing of the trumpets. Instead of “serve Jahve with gladness (ְשׂ ִ מ ְ ח ָה ),” בּit is expressed in Psa_ 2:11, “serve Jahve with fear ()יִר ְ אָה.” ְ בּFear and joy do not exclude one another. Fear
becomes the exalted Lord, and the holy gravity of His requirements; joy becomes the gracious Lord, and His blessed service. The summons to manifest this joy in a religious, festive manner springs up out of an all-hopeful, world-embracing love, and this love is the spontaneous result of living faith in the promise that all tribes of the earth shall be blessed in the seed of Abraham, and in the prophecies in which this promise is unfolded. (דּ ְ עוּas in Psa_4:4) Theodoret well interprets δι ̓ αὐτῶν μάθετε τῶν πραγμάτων. They are to know from facts of outward and inward experience that Jahve is God: He hath made us, and not we ourselves . Thus runs the Chethîb, which the lxx follows, αὐτὸς ἔποήσεν ἡμᾶς καὶ οὐχ ἡμεῖς (as also the Syriac and Vulgate); 7. SPURGEON, "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. This is a repetition of Psalms 98:4. The original word signifies a glad shout, such as loyal subjects give when their king appears among them. Our happy God should be worshipped by a happy people; a cheerful spirit is in keeping with his nature, his acts, and the gratitude which we should cherish for his mercies. In every land Jehovah's goodness is seen, therefore in every land should be be praised. Nearer will the world be in its proper condition till with one unanimous shout it adores the only God. O ye nations, how long will ye blindly reject him? Your golden age will never arrive till ye with all your hearts revere him. 8. ALAN CARR, "The Psalmist opens this Psalm by issuing a call to worship and praise before the Lord. He teaches us how we are to come into God's presence. By the way, nothing brings us into the presence of the Lord like lifting His Name! He promises us that He will "inhabit the praises of His people", Psalm 22:3. Notice 3 ways great manifestations of praise that bring us into the presence of God.) A. V. 1 Enter With Shouting - "Make a joyful noise" comes from one Hebrew word which means "to shout." Vocal praise unto the Lord is kind of out of fashion in our world, but it is still in vogue in God's economy! When we verbally declare our praise for Him, it glorifies His name and brings us into His presence. May God give us all a shout in the soul that will find expression on the lips! Psalm 47. B. V. 2a Enter With Service - We are challenged to "serve the Lord with Gladness." That is, we are to never allow our labor for the Lord to become a drudgery. We are not to grow weary in well doing - Gal. 6:9. The word "gladness" literally means "mirth or joy." That is. We are to look upon our service to the Lord as a cause for rejoicing. Instead of seeing it a chore, we are to view it as a privilege afforded to those who have been redeemed by grace and who have been chosen by the Lord to do His work and will in the world. (Ill. Paul - 1 Tim. 1:12) (Ill. Do you realize that obedience is an expression of worship unto the Lord? When you consider that Jesus tells us that we prove our love for Him by our obedience, then it becomes clear! John 14:15) C. V. 2b Enter With Singing - (Ill. This word literally means "a ringing cry".) Lifting our souls unto the Lord through song is a tremendous way to bless His name
and to exalt Him. In fact, every child of God ought to possess a song in the soul, for we are commanded to sing our songs of praise unto Him - Ps 68:32, "Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:" (Ill. In Psalm 40:1-3, David declares that along with salvation came a new song of praise unto the Lord. Never hesitate to lift the songs of the heart unto the Lord. It glorifies Him when His people are simply willing to exalt Him in their songs of rejoicing.) 9. CALVIN, "1 Make a joyful noise The Psalmist refers only to that part of the service of God which consists in recounting his benefits and giving thanks. And since he invites the whole of the inhabitants of the earth indiscriminately to praise Jehovah, he seems, in the spirit of prophecy, to refer to the period when the Church would be gathered out of different nations. Hence he commands (verse 2) that God should be served with gladness, intimating that his kindness towards his own people is so great as to furnish them with abundant ground for rejoicing. This is better expressed in the third verse, in which he first reprehends the presumption of those men who had wickedly revolted from the true God, both in fashioning for themselves gods many, and in devising various forms of worshipping them. And as a multitude of gods destroys and suppresses the true knowledge of one God only, and tarnishes his glory, the prophet, with great propriety, calls upon all men to bethink themselves, and to cease from robbing God of the honor due to his name; and, at the same time, inveighs against their folly in that, not content with the one God, they were become vain in their imaginations. For, however much they are constrained to confess with the mouth that there is a God, the maker of heaven and earth, yet they are ever and anon gradually despoiling him of his glory; and in this manner, the Godhead is, to the utmost extent of their power, reduced to a nonentity. As it is then a most difficult thing to retain men in the practice of the pure worship of God, the prophet, not without reason, recalls the world from its accustomed vanity, and commands them to recognize God as God. For we must attend to this short definition of the knowledge of him, namely, that his glory be preserved unimpaired, and that no deity be opposed to him that might obscure the glory of his name. True, indeed, in the Papacy, God still retains his name, but as his glory is not comprehended in the mere letters of his name, it is certain that there he is not recognized as God. Know, therefore, that the true worship of God cannot be preserved in all its integrity until the base profanation of his glory, which is the inseparable attendant of superstition, be completely reformed. The prophet next makes mention of the great benefits received from God, and, in an especial manner, desires the faithful to meditate upon them. To say God made us is a very generally acknowledged truth; but not to advert to the ingratitude so usual among men, that scarcely one among a hundred seriously acknowledges that he holds his existence from God, although, when hardly put to it, they do not deny that they were created out of nothing; yet every man makes a god of himself, and virtually worships himself, when he ascribes to his own power what God declares belongs to him alone. Moreover, it must be remembered that the prophet is not here speaking of creation in general, (as I have formerly said,) but of that spiritual regeneration by which he creates anew his image in his elect. Believers are the
persons whom the prophet here declares to be God’s workmanship, not that they were made men in their mother’s womb, but in that sense in which Paul, in Ephesians 2:10, calls them, Τὸ ποιημα, the workmanship of God, because they are created unto good works which God hath before ordained that they should walk in them; and in reality this agrees best with the subsequent context. For when he says, We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture, he evidently refers to that distinguishing grace which led God to set apart his children for his heritage, in order that he may, as it were, nourish them under his wings, which is a much greater privilege than that of merely being born men. Should any person be disposed to boast that he has of himself become a new man, who is there that would not hold in abhorrence such a base attempt to rob God of that which belongs to him? Nor must we attribute this spiritual birth to our earthly parents, as if by their own power they begat us; for what could a corrupt seed produce? Still the majority of men do not hesitate to claim for themselves all the praise of the spiritual life. Else what mean the preachers of free-will, unless it be to tell us that by our own endeavors we have, from being sons of Adam, become the sons of God? In opposition to this, the prophet in calling us the people of God, informs us that it is of his own good will that we are spiritually regenerated. And by denominating us the sheep of his pasture, he gives us to know that through the same grace which has once been imparted to us, we continue safe and unimpaired until the end. It might be otherwise rendered, he made us his people, etc. 124 But as the meaning is not altered, I have retained that which was the more generally received reading.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
1. Barnes, “Serve the Lord with gladness - That is, In your worship, and in all your acts of obedience. Let there be joy in this service. Let it not be with the fear of slaves; not as a matter of compulsion and force; not with reluctance, moroseness, or gloom. Let it be a cheerful, happy service; let it be freely rendered, let it be an occasion of joy to the soul. The service of God is a source of the highest joy that man knows. Come before his presence with singing - As expressive of joy. So the birds sing; so nature rejoices; so should man - intelligent, redeemed, immortal man, be joyful.
2. Clarke, “Serve the Lord with gladness - It is your privilege and duty to be happy in your religious worship. The religion of the true God is intended to remove human misery, and to make mankind happy. He whom the religion of Christ has not
made happy does not understand that religion, or does not make a proper use of it.
3. Gill, “Serve the Lord with gladness,.... 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; as their Lord and Master; 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 Psa_95:2. 4. Henry, “Great encouragement given us, in worshipping God, to do it cheerfully (Psa_100:2): Serve the Lord with gladness. This intimates a prediction that in gospeltimes there should be special occasion for joy; and it prescribes this as a rule of worship: Let God be served with gladness. By holy joy we do really serve God; it is an honour to him to rejoice in him; and we ought to serve him with holy joy. Gospelworshippers should be joyful worshippers; if we serve God in uprightness, let us serve him with gladness. We must be willing and forward to it, glad when we are called to go up to the house of the Lord (Psa_122:1), looking upon it as the comfort of our lives to have communion with God; and we must be pleasant and cheerful in it, must say, It is good to be here, approaching to God, in every duty, as to God our exceeding Joy, Psa_43:4. We must come before his presence with singing, not only songs of joy, but songs of praise. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, Psa_100:4. We must not only comfort ourselves, but glorify God, with our joy, and let him have the praise of that which we have the pleasure of. Be thankful to him and bless his name; that is, (1.) We must take it as a favour to be admitted into his service, and give him thanks that we have liberty of access to him, that we have ordinances instituted and opportunity continued of waiting upon God in those ordinances. (2.) We must intermix praise and thanksgiving with all our services. This golden thread must run through every duty (Heb_13:15), for it is the work of angels. In every thing give thanks, in every ordinance, as well as in every providence. 5. SPURGEON , “Delight in divine service is a token of acceptance. Those who serve God with a sad countenance, because they do what is unpleasant to them, are not serving him at all; they bring the form of homage, but the life is absent. Our God requires no slaves to grace his throne; he is the Lord of the empire of love, and would have his servants dressed in the livery of joy. The angels of God serve him with songs, not with groans; a murmur or a sigh would be a mutiny in their ranks. That obedience which is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looketh at the heart, and if he seeth that we serve him from force, and not because we love him, he will reject our offering. Service coupled with cheerfulness is heart-service, and therefore true. Take away joyful willingness from the Christian, and you have
removed the test of his sincerity. If a man be driven to battle, he is no patriot; but he who marches into the fray with flashing eye and beaming face, singing, “It is sweet for one’s country to die,” proves himself to be sincere in his patriotism. Cheerfulness is the support of our strength; in the joy of the Lord are we strong. It acts as the remover of difficulties. It is to our service what oil is to the wheels of a railway carriage. Without oil the axle soon grows hot, and accidents occur; and if there be not a holy cheerfulness to oil our wheels, our spirits will be clogged with weariness. The man who is cheerful in his service of God, proves that obedience is his element; he can sing, “Make me to walk in thy commands, ’Tis a delightful road.” Reader, let us put this question—do you serve the Lord with gladness? Let us show to the people of the world, who think our religion to be slavery, that it is to us a delight and a joy! Let our gladness proclaim that we serve a good Master. 6. SPURGEON, “Ver. 2. Serve the LORD with gladness. "Glad homage pay with awful mirth." He is our Lord, and therefore he is to be served; he is our gracious Lord, and therefore to be served with joy. The invitation to worship here given is not a melancholy one, as though adoration were a funeral solemnity, but a cheery gladsome exhortation, as though we were bidden to a marriage feast. Come before his presence with singing. We ought in worship to realise the presence of God, and by an effort of the mind to approach him. This is an act which must to every rightly instructed heart be one of great solemnity, but at the same time it must not be performed in the servility of fear, and therefore we come before him, not with weepings and wailings, but with Psalms and hymns. Singing, as it is a joyful, and at the same time a devout, exercise, should be a constant form of approach to God. The measured, harmonious, hearty utterance of praise by a congregation of really devout persons is not merely decorous but delightful, and is a fit anticipation of the worship of heaven, where praise has absorbed prayer, and become the sole mode of adoration. How a certain society of brethren can find it in their hearts to forbid singing in public worship is a riddle which we cannot solve. We feel inclined to say with Dr. Watts "Let those refuse to sing Who never knew our God; But favourites of the heavenly king Must speak his praise abroad." 7. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 2. The first half of this verse is from Psalms 2:11, only that instead of "with fear, "there, where the psalmist has to do with fierce rebels, there is substituted here "gladness" or joy. F.W. Hengstenberg. Ver. 2. Serve the LORD with gladness. It is a sign the oil of grace hath been poured into the heart "when the oil of gladness" shines on the countenance. Cheerfulness credits religion. Thomas Watson. Ver. 2. Serve the LORD. It is our privilege to serve the Lord in all things. It is ours to please the Lord in loosing the latchet of a shoe; and to enjoy the expression of his
favour therein. The servant of God is not serving at the same time another master; he has not been hired for occasional service; he abides in the service of his God, and cannot be about anything but his Master's business; he eats, he drinks, he sleeps, he walks, he discourses, he findeth recreation, all by the way of serving God. Serve the Lord with gladness. Can you bear to be waited upon by a servant who goes moping and dejected to his every task? You would rather have no servant at all, than one who evidently finds your service cheerless and irksome. George Bowen.
3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
1. Barnes, “Know ye that the Lord, he is God - That is, Let all the nations know that Yahweh is the true God. The idols are vanity. They have no claim to worship; but God is the Creator of all, and is entitled to universal adoration. It is he that hath made us - The Hebrew is, “He made us,” and this expresses the exact idea. The fact that he is the Creator proves that he is God, since no one but God can perform the work of creation. The highest idea that we can form of power is that which is evinced in an act of creation; that is, in causing anything to exist where there was nothing before. Every created thing, therefore, is a proof of the existence of God; the immensity of the universe is an illustration of the greatness of his power. And not we ourselves - Margin, “And his we are.” The difference between the text and the margin is owing to a different reading in the Hebrew, varying only in a single letter. The reading in the text is, “And not ( לאlo') we;” in the margin, “And to him ( לוlô) we.” These words would be pronounced in the same manner, and either of them would convey good sense. The weight of authority is in favor of the common reading, “And not we;” that is, We are not self-created; we derive our being from him. All that we have and are, we owe to him. We are his people - By virtue of creation. The highest “property” which can exist is that derived from an act of creation. He that has brought anything into existence has a right to it, and may dispose of it as he pleases. It is on this idea essentially that all idea of “property” is founded. And the sheep of his pasture - As the shepherd owns the flock, so God is our owner; as the shepherd guards his flock and provides for it, so God guards us and provides for us. See the notes at Psa_95:7.
2. Clarke, “Know ye that the Lord he is God - Acknowledge in every possible way, both in public and private, that Jehovah, the uncreated self-existent, and eternal Being, is Elohim, the God who is in covenant with man, to instruct, redeem, love, and make him finally happy. It is he that hath made us - He is our Creator and has consequently the only right in and over us. And not we ourselves - ולא אנחנוvelo anachnu. I can never think that this is the true reading, though found in the present Hebrew text, in the Vulgate, Septuagint, Ethiopic, and Syriac. Was there ever a people on earth, however grossly heathenish, that did believe, or could believe, that they had made themselves? In twenty-six of Kennicott’s and De Rossi’s MSS. we have ולו אנחנוvelo anachnu, “and His we are;” לוlo, the pronoun, being put for לאlo, the negative particle. This is the reading of the Targum, or Chaldee paraphrase ודיליה אנחנאvedileyh anachna, “and his we are,” and is the reading of the text in the Complutensian Polyglot, of both the Psalters which were printed in 1477, and is the keri, or marginal reading in most Masoretic Bibles. Every person must see, from the nature of the subject that it is the genuine reading. The position is founded on the maxim that what a man invents, constructs out of his own matterials, without assistance in genius, materials or execution from any other person, is His Own and to it, its use, and produce, he has the only right. God made us, therefore we are His: we are his people, and should acknowledge him for our God; we are the sheep of his pasture, and should devote the lives to him constantly which he continually supports.
3. Gill, “Know ye that the Lord he is God,.... Own and acknowledge him to be God, as well as man; and though a man, yet not a mere man, but the great God and our Saviour, the true God and eternal life; so a man, as that he is Jehovah's fellow; or our God, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, God manifest in the flesh: it is he that hath made us; as men, without whom nothing is made that was made; in him we live, move, and have our being; and, as new creatures, we are his workmanship, created in him, and by him; regenerated by his Spirit and grace, and formed for himself, his service and glory; and made great and honourable by him, raised from a low to an high estate; from being beggars on the dunghill, to sit among princes; yea, made kings and priests unto God by him; so, Kimchi, "he hath brought us up, and exalted us:'' and not we ourselves; that is, did not make ourselves, neither as creatures, nor as new creatures; as we have no hand in making either our souls or bodies, so neither in our regeneration, or in the work of God upon our hearts; that is solely the Lord's work: there is a double reading of this clause; the marginal reading is, and we are his; which is followed by the Targum and Aben Ezra: both are approved
of by Kimchi, and the sense of both is included; for if the Lord has made us, and not we ourselves, then we are not our own, but his, and ought to serve and glorify him: we are his by creation; "we are also his offspring", as said Aratus (d), an Heathen poet, cited by the Apostle Paul, Act_17:28, we are his people; by choice and covenant; by his Father's gift, and his own purchase; and by the power of his grace, bringing to a voluntary surrender and subjection to him; even the Gentiles particularly, who were not his people, but now his people, 1Pe_2:9, and the sheep of his pasture; his sheep also by gift and purchase, called by him, made to know his voice, and follow him; for whom he provides pasture, leads to it, and feeds them with it himself; see Psa_74:1. 4. Henry, “The matter of praise, and motives to it, are very important, Psa_100:3, Psa_100:5. Know you what God is in himself and what he is to you. Note, Knowledge is the mother of devotion and of all obedience: blind sacrifices will never please a seeing God. “Know it; consider and apply it, and then you will be more close and constant, more inward and serious, in the worship of him.” Let us know then these seven things concerning the Lord Jehovah, with whom we have to do in all the acts of religious worship: - 1. That the Lord he is God, the only living and true God - that he is a Being infinitely perfect, self-existent, and self-sufficient, and the fountain of all being; he is God, and not a man as we are. He is an eternal Spirit, incomprehensible and independent, the first cause and last end. The heathen worshipped the creature of their own fancy; the workmen made it, therefore it is not God. We worship him that made us and all the world; he is God, and all other pretended deities are vanity and a lie, and such as he has triumphed over. 2. That he is our Creator: It is he that has made us, and not we ourselves. I find that I am, but cannot say, I am that I am, and therefore must ask, Whence am I? Who made me? Where is God my Maker? And it is the Lord Jehovah. He gave us being, he gave us this being; he is both the former of our bodies and the Father of our spirits. We did not, we could not, make ourselves. It is God's prerogative to be his own cause; our being is derived and depending. 3. That therefore he is our rightful owner. The Masorites, by altering one letter in the Hebrew, read it, He made us, and his we are, or to him we belong. Put both the readings together, and we learn that because God made us, and not we ourselves, therefore we are not our own, but his. He has an incontestable right to, and property in, us and all things. His we are, to be actuated by his power, disposed of by his will, and devoted to his honour and glory. 4. That he is our sovereign ruler: We are his people or subjects, and he is our prince, our rector or governor, that gives law to us as moral agents, and will call us to an account for what we do. The Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver. We are not at liberty to do what we will, but must always make conscience of doing as we are bidden. 5. Jamison, “To the obligations of a creature and subject is added that of a beneficiary (Psa_95:7).
6. SPURGEON, “Ver. 3. Know ye that the Lord, he is God. Our worship must be intelligent. We ought to know whom we worship and why. "Man, know thyself, "is a wise aphorism, yet to know our God is truer wisdom; and it is very questionable whether a man can know himself until he knows his God. Jehovah is God in the fullest, most absolute, and most exclusive sense, he is God alone; to know him in that character and prove our knowledge by obedience, trust, submission, zeal, and love is an attainment which only grace can bestow. Only those who practically recognise his Godhead are at all likely to offer acceptable praise. It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves. Shall not the creature reverence its maker? Some men live as if they made themselves; they call themselves "self-made men, "and they adore their supposed creators; but Christians recognise the origin of their being and their well-being, and take no honour to themselves either for being, or for being what they are. Neither in our first or second creation dare we put so much as a finger upon the glory, for it is the sole right and property of the Almighty. To disclaim honour for ourselves is as necessary a part of true reverence as to ascribe glory to the Lord. "Non nobis, dominc!" will for ever remain the true believer's confession. Of late philosophy has laboured hard to prove that all things have been developed from atoms, or have, in other words, made themselves: if this theory shall ever find believers, there will certainly remain no reason for accusing the superstitious of credulity, for the amount of credence necessary to accept this dogma of scepticism is a thousandfold greater than that which is required even by an absurd belief in winking Madonnas, and smiling Bambinos. For our part, we find it far more easy to believe that the Lord made us than that we were developed by a long chain of natural selections from floating atoms which fashioned themselves. We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. It is our honour to have been chosen from all the world besides to be his own people, and our privilege to be therefore guided by his wisdom, tended by his care, and fed by his bounty. Sheep gather around their shepherd and look up to him; in the same manner let us gather around the great Shepherd of mankind. The avowal of our relation to God is in itself praise; when we recount his goodness we are rendering to him the best adoration; our songs require none of the inventions of fictions, the bare facts are enough; the simple narration of the mercies of the Lord is more astonishing than the productions of imagination. That we are the sheep of his pasture is a plain truth, and at the same time the very essence of poetry. 7. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 3. Know ye that the LORD he is God, &c. From the reasons of this exhortation, learn, that such is our natural atheism, that we have need again and again to be instructed, that the Lord is God; of whom, and through whom, and for whom are all things. David Dickson. Ver. 3. It is he that made us... we are his. Now, the ground of God's property in all things is his creating of all... Accordingly, you may observe in many scriptures, where the Lord's propriety is asserted, this, as the ground of it, is annexed: Psalms 89:11-12, the heavens, the earth, the whole world, and all therein is thine. Why so? "Thou hast founded them." And so are all the regions and quarters of the world,
northern and southern, western and eastern; for Tabor was on the west and Hermon on the east; all are thine, for thou hast created them. So sea and land, Psalms 95:5. As all things measured by time, so time itself, the measure of all, Psalms 74:16-17. "Thou hast made the light, "i.e. the moon for the night and the sun for the day. He lays claim to all the climes of the earth, and all the seasons of the year on this account; he made them. This will be more evident and unquestionable, if we take notice of these particulars: 1. He made all for himself. He was not employed by any to make it for another, for in that case sometimes the maker is not the owner; but the Lord did employ himself in that great work, and for himself did he undertake and finish it. Proverbs 16:4, Colossians 1:15-16. 2. He made all things of nothing, either without any matter at all, or without any but what himself had before made of nothing. A potter when he makes an earthenware vessel, if the clay be not his own which he makes it of, he is not the full owner of the vessel, though he formed it: "the form is his, the matter is another's; "but since the Lord made all of nothing, or of such matter as himself had made, all is wholly his, matter and form, all entirely. 3. He made all without the help or concurrence of any other. There was none that assisted him, or did in the least co-operate with him in the work of creation... Those that assist and concur with another in the making of a thing may claim a share in it; but here lies no such claim in this case, where the Lord alone did all, alone made all. All is his only. 4. He upholds all things in the same manner as he created, continues the being of all things in the same way as he gave it. He does it of himself, without other support, without any assistant. All would fall into nothing in a moment, if he did not every moment bear them up. So that all things on this account have still their being from him every moment, and their well-being too, and all the means which conduce to it; and therefore all are his own. David Clarkson. Ver. 3. It is he that hath made us. The emperor Henry, while out hunting on the Lord's day called Quinquagesima, his companions being scattered, came unattended to the entrance of a certain wood; and seeing a church hard by, he made for it, and feigning himself to be a soldier, simply requested a mass of the priest. Now that priest was a man of notable piety, but so deformed in person that he seemed a monster rather than a man. When he had attentively considered him, the emperor began to wonder exceedingly why God, from whom all beauty proceeds, should permit so deformed a man to administer his sacraments. But prescntly, when mass commenced, and they came to the passage, Know ye that the Lord he is God, which was chanted by a boy, the priest rebuked the boy for singing negligently, and said with a loud voice, It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves. Struck by these words, and believing the priest to be a prophet, the emperor raised him, much against his will, to the archbishopric of Cologne, which see he adorned by his devotion and excellent virtues. From "Roger of Wendover's (1237) Flowers of History." Ver. 3. It is he that hath made us... we are his. Many a one has drawn balsatalc consolation from these words; as for instance Melancthon when disconsolately sorrowful over the body of his son in Dresden on the 12th July, 1559. But in "He made us and we are his, "there is also a rich mine of comfort and of admonition, for
the Creator is also the Owner, his heart clings to his creature, and the creature owes itself entirely to him, without whom it would not have had a being, and would not continue in being. F. Delitzsch. Ver. 3. He that made us, i.e. made us what we are, a people to himself; as in Psalms 95:5, 1 Samuel 12:6, and De 32:6. It was not we that made ourselves his (compare Ezekiel 29:3). "He (and not we ourselves) made us His people, and the flock whom he feeds." Andrew A. Bonar. Ver. 3. Not we is added, because any share, on the part of the church, in effecting the salvation bestowed upon her, would weaken the testimony which this bears to the exclusive Godhead of the Lord. F. W. Hengstenberg. Ver. 3, 5. Know ye what God is in himself, and what he is to you. Knowledge is the mother of devotion, and of all obedience; blind sacrifices will never please a seeing God. "Know" it, i.e. consider and apply it, and then you will be more close and constant, more inward and serious, in the worship of him. Let us know, then, these seven things concerning the Lord Jehovah, with whom we have to do in all the acts of religious worship. 1. That the Lord he is God, the only living and true God; that he is a being infinitely perfect, self-existent, and self-sufficient, and the fountain of all being. 2. That he is our Creator: It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves. We do not, we could not make ourselves; it is God's prerogative to be his own cause; our being is derived and depending. 3. That therefore he is our rightful owner. The Masorites, by altering one letter in the Hebrew, read it, "He made us, and his we are, "or, "to him we belong." Put both the readings together, and we learn, that because God "made us, and not we ourselves, "therefore we are not our own but his. 4. That he is our sovereign Ruler. We are his people, or subjects, and he is our prince, our rector or governor, that gives laws to us as moral agents, and will call us to an account for what we do. 5. That he is our bountiful Benefactor;we are not only his sheep whom he is entitled to, but the sheep of his pasture, whom he takes care of. 6. That he is a God of infinite mercy and good (Psalms 100:5); The Lord is good, and therefore doth good; his mercy his everlasting. 7. That he is a God of inviolable truth and faithfulness; His truth endureth to all generations, and no word of his shall fall to the ground as antiquated or revoked. Matthew Henry. HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER. Ver. 3. Know ye that the LORD he is God. That you may be true amid superstition, hopeful in contrition, persistent in supplication, unwearied in exertion, calm in affliction, firm in temptation, bold in persecution, and happy in dissolution. W. J. Ver. 3. We are his people. We have been twice born, as all his people are. We love the society of his people. We are looking unto Jesus like his people. We are separated from the world as his people. We experience the trials of his people. We prefer the employment of his people. We enjoy the privileges of his people. W. J. 8. ALAN CARR, "V. 3 OUR ENLIGHTENMENT CONCERNING HIS PERSON
(Ill. Every truth learned about the Person of the Lord results in a new reason for praise and adoration! God help us that we never reach the place where we fail to be amazed at the Person of God! Because, everything we do, very thing we are, everything in our lives rises or falls on our perception of just who God is. Therefore, it is imperative that we never forget who we are serving. We are the servants of the Living God. No better than that, we are the children of the Living God. Let us then learn all we can about Him and rejoice in all that we learn.) There is: A. A Word About His Power - This reminds us of the creative power of God. We are in this world because the Lord, in His great power, formed man in His image. That is something for which to praise Him. However, beyond His great creative power, there is also His great re-creative power. When we were marred by the stains of sin, thank God, He redeemed us and remade us afresh and anew in the image of His darling Son - Ill. Paul - 1 Cor. 15:10. (Ill. 2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Cor. 4:7) (Ill. Just the fact that His power is revealed in the creation of the world is reason enough to praise and glorify Him forever. However, when you add to that the fact that He has the power to take old, hell bound sinners and save them by His grace and transform them into the image of His precious Son and take them to Heaven when they die, well, that just sweetens the pot considerably!) B. A Word About His Purchase - The Psalmist says that "we are His people." That is, we are His personal possession, Titus 2:14. We are His by virtue of the fact that He paid the price to redeem us from our sins. When we were sold under sin, praise His Name, He came and died for us paying the price to set us free. (Ill. There are 3 words that are translated "redeemed" in the New Testament. These three words are very telling. Notice: 1. Revelation 5:9 - Redeemed = agorazo - This word literally means, "To buy in the marketplace." It has reference to purchasing a slave right off the auction block. That is what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. He paid the full price that we might go free from the penalty of sin. Redemption through the blood of Jesus is a reason to shout! 2. Galatians 5:9 - Redeem = Exagorazo - This word means "To take off the market." In other words, Jesus paid the price for us and we are no longer up for sale! He bought us and He intends to keep us. The fact that we are His, and His forever is a good reason to shout praises unto Him! 3. 1 Peter 1:18 - Redeemed = Loutron - This word means "To release after the payment of the purchase price." It pictures one who buys a slave and then turns that slave loose. This is what Jesus did for us! He bought us off the slave block of sin. After He redeemed us, He removed us from the sale and then set us free, not free to go and sin, but free to go and serve the Lord our God. Being redeemed from
sin to service is a good reason to praise the Lord! Thank God, we are His people! That means that we are special. Never let anyone tell you that you aren't someone very important. After all, you are a child of the King! C. A Word About His Provisions - This verse reminds us that we are His flock. As such, we are under the protective oversight of the Good Shepherd. That is, He has promised us several things that ought to encourage us to glorify His Name: 1. His Presence - Heb. 13:5 2. His Peace - John 14:27 3. His Provision - Phil. 4:19 (Ill. All of these things are summed up wonderfully in the words written by David and recorded in what we call the 23rd Psalm. "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want." That covers it all!) (When all these great truths about His Person are looked at and considered, they certainly do give us ample reason to praise the Name of the Lord.)
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
1. Barnes, “Enter into his gates ... - The gates which lead to his temple, or to the place of public worship. Into his courts ... - The “courts” were literally the open spaces which surrounded the tabernacle or temple. It was in these that worship was celebrated, and not in the tabernacle or temple. See Psa_65:4, note; Psa_84:2, note; Psa_92:13, note. Be thankful unto him - That is, Offer thanksgiving and praise. Come before him with a grateful heart. See the notes at Psa_50:14. Bless his name - Bless him; praise him; ascribe honor to him; acknowledge him as God.
2. Clarke, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving - Publicly worship God; and
when ye come to the house of prayer, be thankful that you have such a privilege; and when you enter his courts, praise him for the permission. The word בתודהbethodah, which we render with thanksgiving, is properly with the confession-offering or sacrifice. See on Psa_100:1-5 (note). Bless his name - Bless Jehovah, that he is your Elohim; see Psa_100:3. In our liturgic service we say, “Speak good of his name;” we cannot do otherwise; we have nothing but good to speak of our God.
3. Gill, “ Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,.... The same with the gates of Zion, loved by the Lord more than all the dwellings of Jacob; 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 Psa_96:8, of these courts, see Psa_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 honour, blessing, and glory to him, saying, "blessed be his glorious name for ever", Psa_72:19. 4. Henry, “ 5. Jamison, “Join joyfully in His public worship. The terms are, of course, figurative (compare Psa_84:2; Psa_92:13; Isa_66:23). Enter — or, “Come with solemnity” (Psa_95:6).
6. K&D, “Therefore shall the men of all nations enter with thanksgiving into the gates of His Temple and into the courts of His Temple with praise (Psa_96:8), in order to join themselves in worship to His church, which - a creation of Jahve for the good of the whole earth - is congregated about this Temple and has it as the place of its worship. The pilgrimage of all peoples to the holy mountain is an Old Testament dress of the hope for the conversion of all peoples to the God of revelation, and the close union of all with the people of this God. His Temple is open to them all. They may enter, and when they enter they have to look for great things. For the God of revelation (52:11; 54:8) is “good” (Psa_25:8; Psa_34:9). 7. SPURGEON, "Our Lord would have all his people rich in high and happy thoughts concerning his blessed person. Jesus is not content that his brethren should think meanly of him; it is his pleasure that his espoused ones should be delighted with his beauty. We are not to regard him as a bare necessary, like to bread and
water, but as a luxurious delicacy, as a rare and ravishing delight. To this end he has revealed himself as the “pearl of great price” in its peerless beauty, as the “bundle of myrrh” in its refreshing fragrance, as the “rose of Sharon” in its lasting perfume, as the “lily” in its spotless purity. As a help to high thoughts of Christ, remember the estimation that Christ is had in beyond the skies, where things are measured by the right standard. Think how God esteems the Only Begotten, his unspeakable gift to us. Consider what the angels think of him, as they count it their highest honour to veil their faces at his feet. Consider what the blood-washed think of him, as day without night they sing his well deserved praises. High thoughts of Christ will enable us to act consistently with our relations towards him. The more loftily we see Christ enthroned, and the more lowly we are when bowing before the foot of the throne, the more truly shall we be prepared to act our part towards him. Our Lord Jesus desires us to think well of him, that we may submit cheerfully to his authority. High thoughts of him increase our love. Love and esteem go together. Therefore, believer, think much of your Master’s excellencies. Study him in his primeval glory, before he took upon himself your nature! Think of the mighty love which drew him from his throne to die upon the cross! Admire him as he conquers all the powers of hell! See him risen, crowned, glorified! Bow before him as the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the mighty God, for only thus will your love to him be what it should. 8. SPURGEON, "Ver. 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving. To the occurrence of the word thanksgiving in this place the Psalm probably owes its title. In all our public service the rendering of thanks must abound; it is like the incense of the temple, which filled the whole house with smoke. Expiatory sacrifices are ended, but those of gratitude will never be out of date. So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. Mercy permits us to enter his gates; let us praise that mercy. What better subjcct for our thoughts in God's own house than the Lord of the house. And into his courts with praise. Into whatever court of the Lord you may enter, let your admission be the subject of praise: thanks be to God, the innermost court is now open to believers, and we enter into that which is within the veil; it is incumbent upon us that we acknowledge the high privilege by our songs. Be thankful unto him. Let the praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue, and let it all be for him to whom it all belongs. And bless his name. He blessed you, bless him in return; bless his name, his character, his person. Whatever he does, be sure that you bless him for it; bless him when he takes away as well as when he gives; bless him as long as you live, under all circumstances; bless him in all his attributes, from whatever point of view you consider him. 9. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 4. Enter into his gates; for to the most guilty are the gates of his church open. Francis Hill Tucker. Ver. 4. With thanksgiving. On the word hrwt the word used in Leviticus 7:12 for sacrifices of thanksgivings], Rabbi Menachen remarks: All sacrifices will be abolished; but the sacrifice of thanksgiving will remain. George Phillips.
Ver. 4. The former part of this Psalm may have been chanted by the precentor when the peace-offering was brought to the altar; and this last verse may have been the response, sung by the whole company of singers, at the moment when fire was applied to the offering. Daniel Cresswell. 10. CALVIN, "4 Enter his gates The conclusion of the psalm is almost the same as the beginning of it, excepting that he adopts a mode of speech which relates to the worship of God which obtained under the law; 126 in which, however, he merely reminds us that believers, in rendering thanks to God, do not discharge their duty aright, unless they also continue in the practice of a steady profession of piety. Meanwhile, under the name of the temple, he signifies that God cannot be otherwise worshipped than in strict accordance with the manner prescribed in his law. And, besides, he adds, that God’s mercy endureth for ever, and that his truth also is everlasting, to point out to us that we can never be at a loss for constant cause of praising him. If, then, God never ceases to deal with us in this manner, it would argue the basest ingratitude on our part, if we wearied in rendering to Him the tribute of praise to which he is entitled. We have elsewhere taken notice of the reason why truth is connected with mercy. For so foolish are we, that we scarcely feel the mercy of God while he openly manifests it, not even in the most palpable displays of it, until he open his holy lips to declare his paternal regard for us. 11. ALAN CARR, "V. 4-5 OUR EXPRESSION OF HIS PRAISES (Ill. These verses give us three great ways that we can express our praises for the Lord. If He is worthy of our praise and if we are supposed to glorify Him, then we had better know how to do that properly. Then, when we know, we are going to be held accountable for what we do with the truths we have received. Notice these three great means that we are to employ in glorifying the Lord.) A. Praise Should Be Visible - The Psalmist said that we are to enter His gates and His courts with praise. This isn't an activity that was to be done in a corner where one could be hidden from the view of others. Simply put, there should be no shame attached to our worship of the Lord. (Ill. It may help us to look at Hebrew worship practices and see how they visibly praised the Lord. 1. Clapping - Psa. 47:1, "O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph." This does not convey the idea of applause, but of a sudden, loud clap that draws attention to the fact that God is receiving praise from a worshiper. 2. Lifting of Hands - Psalm 63:4, "Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."; Psalm 134:2, "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD." When the hands were lifted toward Heaven, it was a sign of adoration and praise. It was symbolic of lifting up the Lord and glorifying Him. 3. Dancing - 2 Sam. 6:14, "And David danced before the LORD with all his might;
and David was girded with a linen ephod." When David contemplated the presence and greatness of the Lord, he got a case of happy feet and praised the Lord unashamedly before all those present.) (Ill. There is nothing wrong with any genuine, visible expression of praise and glory toward the Lord.) B. Praise Should Be Vocal - In verses 1 and 2, the Psalmist used words like "noise" (which means to shout) and "singing". Neither of these can be done in silence! True praise to God manifests itself in a vocal expression! There is nothing wrong with being vocal in our praise for Him! Actually, I kind of imagine the Lord likes it! (Ill. Billy Bray was an old cockney sinner that God saved by His grace. Billy used to praise the Lord every where he went. Once, he was praising the Lord as he usually did, when someone came up and told him that he needed to calm himself down. They said it wasn't proper for a preacher to be shouting all the time. Billy Bray responded by saying, "I can't help myself. You see, I put down my right foot and it says, "Hallelujah." I put down my right and it says, "Amen." With that, he marched down the street shouting a chorus of "hallelujah's" and "Amen's.") (Never let anyone steal the shout that God has placed in your soul!) C. Praise Should Be Volitional - That is, it is to be an act of the will. According to verse 5, God is good, He is faithful and His truth will stand forever. When these things are considered then we are to make a rational decision to praise His Name because of the reality of who He is. (Ill. I have seen TV preachers work a crowd into a frenzy. I have seen folks so stirred up that they would shout on command. That is fanaticism. True praise looks at God, recognizes His greatness, remembers the reality of His blessings and bursts forth from a soul that adores the Lord.) (Ill. What I mean by all that is this, praise the Lord, because of who He is to you and for what He has done for you. Praise Him for who He is. Praise Him because He is God. Do it, but do it because you love Him and He will bless your praise life.) Conc: A good example of praise is set forth for us by the prayer of an elderly saint of God at a prayer meeting one evening. He said,"O Lord, we will praise Thee; we will praise Thee with an instrument of ten strings!" People wondered what he meant, but understood when he continued, "We will praise Thee with our two eyes by looking only unto Thee. We will exalt Thee with our two ears by listening only to Thy voice. We will extol Thee with our two hands by working in Thy service. We will honor Thee with our own two feet by walking in the way of Thy statutes. We will magnify Thee with our tongue by bearing testimony to Thy loving kindness. We will worship Thee with our heart by loving only Thee. We thank Thee for this instrument, Lord; keep it in tune. Play upon it as Thou wilt and ring out the melodies of Thy grace! May its harmonies always express Thy glory!"
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Footnotes:
1. Barnes, “For the Lord is good - For good is Yahweh. That is, He is not a being of mere “power;” he is not merely the Creator; but he is benevolent, and is, therefore, worthy of universal praise. In the former verses, his claim to adoration is founded on the fact that he is the “Creator,” and has, as such, a right to our service; in this verse, the claim is asserted on account of his moral character: (1) his benevolence; (2) his mercy; (3) his truth; (a) the fact that he is a God of truth; and (b) the fact that his truth endures, or that in all generations he shows himself to be faithful to his promises. The first of these is his “benevolence:” “The Lord is good.” As such, assuredly, God is worthy of praise and honor. A being of “mere” power we could not love or praise; a being whose power was united with malignity or malevolence, could only be the object of hatred and terror; but a being whose power is united with goodness or benevolence ought to he loved. His mercy is everlasting - This is the “second” reason, drawn from his moral character, why he should be praised and adored. A being of mere “justice” may be feared and respected; but a character of “mere” justice would be to man an object of dread - and may be so anywhere. There are other attributes than the one of “justice,” high and valuable as that may be, which are necessary to constitute a perfect character; and man, in order to find happiness and security, must find some other attribute in God than mere “justice,” for man is a sinner, and needs pardon; he is a sufferer, and needs compassion; he is to die, and needs support and consolation. Besides, mere “justice” may drive its decisions over some of the kindest and tenderest feelings of human nature, for there are cases, under all administrations, where pardon is desirable and mercy is proper. It is, therefore, a ground of unspeakable joy for man that God is not a Being of “mere justice,” but that there is mingled in his character the attribute of mercy and kindness. But for
this, man could have no hope; for, as a sinner, he has no claim on God, and all his hope must be derived from God’s infinite compassion. To all this as a ground of praise is to be added the fact that this mercy of God is “everlasting.” Its fruits - its results - will extend to the vast eternity before us; and in all that eternity we shall never cease to enjoy the benefits of that mercy; never be suffered to fall back on the mere “justice” of God. And his truth endureth to all generations - Margin, as in Hebrew, “to generation and generation.” That is, forever. It is the same in every generation of the world. This is the third reason derived from the moral character of God for praising him; and this is a just ground of praise. We could not love and honor a God who was not true to his promises, and who did not himself love the truth; we could not honor one who was changeable and flexible - who loved one thing in one generation and a different thing in the next; who in one age was the friend of truth, and in the next the patron of falsehood. It is the just foundation for praise to God - our God - that he is essentially and always - in all worlds, and in all the generations of people toward all in the universe - a Being of unchangeable benevolence, mercy, and truth. Such a God is worthy to be had in universal reverence; such a God is worthy of universal praise. 2. Clarke, “For the Lord is good - Goodness the perfect, eternal opposition to all badness and evil, is essential to God. Mercy and compassion are modifications of his goodness; and as his nature is eternal, so his mercy, springing from his goodness, must be everlasting. And as Truth is an essential characteristic of an infinitely intelligent and perfect nature; therefore God’s truth must endure from generation to generation. Whatsoever he has promised must be fulfilled, through all the successive generations of men, as long as sun and moon shall last. As this is a very important Psalm, and has long made a part of our public worship, I shall lay it before the reader in the oldest vernacular Versions I have hitherto met with, - the Anglo-Saxon and the Anglo-Scottish, with a literal interlineary translation of the former. The Anglo-Saxon Hundredth Psalm Rhyme ye the Lord all earth, serve the Lord in bliss; Infare in sight his in blithness; Wit ye, for that Lord he is God, he did us & not self we; Folk his & sheep leeseway his; fare into gates his in confession, into courts is in hymns confess him. Praise name his, for that winsom is; Lord thro’ eternity mildheartedness his, & unto on kindred & kindred sothfastnes his The reader will see that, in order to make this translation as literal as possible, I have preserved some old English words which we had from the Anglo-Saxon, and which have nearly become obsolete: e.g., Infare, “to go in;” blithness, “joy, exultation;” twit ye, “know ye;” did, the preterite of to do, “made, created,” the literal translation of the Hebrew, עשהasah, he made; leeseway, “pasturage on a common;” winsom, “cheerful, merry;” mildheartedness, “tenderness of heart,
compassion;” sothfastness, “steady to the sooth or truth, fast to truth.” I might have noticed some various readings in Anglo-Saxon MSS.; e.g., Psa_100:1 for idrymeth, “rhyme ye;” winsumiath, “be winsom, be joyful.” And Psa_100:5, for winsom, “cheerful;” swete, “sweet.” Anglo-Scottish Version of the Hundredth Psalm 1. 2. 3. 4. Joyes to God al the erth; serves to Lord in gladnes. Enters in his sight with joying. Wittes for Lorde he is God; he made us and noght we; Folke of hym, and schepe of his pasture; enters the gates of hym in schrift; hys Halles in ympnys; schryves to hym. 5. Loues his name, for soft is Lorde; withouten end in his mercy; and in generation and generation the sothfastnes of hym. Thus our forefathers said and sung in heart and mouth and with their tongues made confession to salvation. There are but few words here which require explanation: Psa_100:3, Wittes, “wot ye, know ye.” Psa_100:4, Schrift, “confession;” schryves, “confess ye.” Verse 6, Loues, “praise ye, laud ye.” Sothfastness, as above, steadfastness in the truth.
3. Gill, “For the Lord is good,.... Both in a providential way, and in a way of grace, and does good; he is the good Shepherd, that has laid down his life for the sheep; and the good Samaritan, that pours in the wine and oil of his love and grace, and his precious blood, to the healing of the wounds made by sin: while he was on earth, he went about doing good to the bodies and souls of men; and he continues to do good unto them, and therefore should be praised, served, and worshipped: his mercy is everlasting; or "his grace" (e); there is always a sufficiency of it for his people; and his lovingkindness, which may be also here meant, is always the same; having loved his own which were in the world, he loves them to the end, Joh_13:1. and his truth endureth to all generations; or his faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, and performing his engagements; he was faithful to his Father that appointed him, and to the covenant he made with him; and he is faithful to his people, to keep what they commit to his care and charge now, and to give them the crown of righteousness at the last day, which is laid up for them; and upon all these considerations, and for these reasons, ought to be praised and adored. 4. Henry, “The Lord is good, and therefore does good; his mercy is everlasting; it is a fountain that can never be drawn dry. The saints, who are now the sanctified vessels of mercy, will be, to eternity, the glorified monuments of mercy. 7. That he is a God of inviolable truth and faithfulness: His truth endures to all generations, and no word of his shall fall to the ground as antiquated or revoked. The promise is sure
to all the seed, from age to age.
5. Jamison, “The reason: God’s eternal mercy and truth (Psa_25:8; Psa_89:7). 6. K&D, “His loving-kindness and faithfulness endure for ever - the thought that recurs frequently in the later Hallelujah and Hodu Psalms and is become a liturgical formula (Jer_33:11). The mercy of loving-kindness of God is the generosity, and His faithfulness the constancy, of His love. 7. SPURGEON, "Ver. 5. For the Lord is good. This sums up his character and contains a mass of reasons for praise. He is good, gracious, kind, bountiful, loving; yea, God is love. He who does not praise the good is not good himself. The kind of praise inculcated in the Psalm, viz., that of joy and gladness, is most fitly urged upon us by an argument from the goodness of God. His mercy is everlasting. God is not mere justice, stern and cold; he has bowels of compassion, and wills not the sinner's death. Towards his own people mercy is still more conspicuously displayed; it has been theirs from all eternity, and shall be theirs world without end. Everlasting mercy is a glorious theme for sacred song. And his truth endureth to all generations. No fickle being is he, promising and forgetting. He has entered into covenant with his people, and he will never revoke it, nor alter the thing that has gone out of his lips. As our fathers found him faithful, so will our sons, and their seed for ever. A changeable God would be a terror to the righteous, they would have no sure anchorage, and amid a changing world they would be driven to and fro in perpetual fear of shipwreck. It were well if the truth of divine faithfulness were more fully remembered by some theologians; it would overturn their belief in the final fall of believers, and teach them a more consolatory system. Our heart leaps for joy as we bow before One who has never broken his word or changed his purpose. "As well might he his being quit As break his promise or forget." Resting on his sure word, we feel that joy which is here commanded, and in the strength of it we come into his presence even now, and speak good of his name. 8. BRUCE GOETTSCHE, "REASONS FOR JOYFUL WORSHIP Turn with me to a great text, Psalm 100. In this text we see a summons to worship joyfully, Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 2 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his 3 people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to 4 him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues 5 through all generations.
Notice several things from this Psalm. First, notice the seven imperative verbs that describe what God desires, Shout joyfully Worship with gladness Come with joyful songs Know that He is God Enter His gates with Thanksgiving Give Thanks Praise His name When the Psalmist invites the people to shout joyfully he is not saying that we should simply go around screaming in worship. We have all been around children who are always screaming and making noise. It gives us a headache. That’s not what God wants from us. Worship is to be done decently and in order. Let me illustrate what I think God wants. Think about a sporting event. The game comes down to the wire and your team wins. What happens next is joyful shouting. You rejoice with the team, you celebrate an accomplishment; you cheer those who are responsible. We don’t usually think of responding to God this way. Spurgeon, who usually gets right to the point, says it well. “ Serve the Lord with gladness, ” this is a point to which the mere carnal mind never did attain, and never will. Any connection between religion and gladness seems to the most of men to be very remote indeed. Many people attend to their “ religion, ” as they call it, but it is downright slavery. They go up to their place of worship because it is a terrible necessity of custom that respectable people should meet in certain fixed places on the Sabbath; but they are glad when the service is short-exceedingly glad if it could be made so short as to be omitted altogether. They look upon their religious exercises as a tax which they pay to God, or rather, as a tax which they pay to respectability, for living in a country where so many think it right to profess the Christian faith. The worldly religionists’ service has no gladness in it. “ Serve the Lord with gladness ” seems to the carnal mind to be a perfect monstrosity; and yet, mark you, this is the test between the genuine and the hypocritical professor-by this one thing shall you know who it is that fears God, and who it is that does but offer him the empty tribute of his lips.  The Psalmist gives two main reasons to worship joyfully. First, We should rejoice because of the deeds of God. The Psalmist says, “He has Made Us; we are His”. Every Mother’s Day we celebrate our moms. We do this because our mother labored to bring us into the world. They fed us, took care of us, and loved us. Our mom’s protected us, fought for us, and sacrificed for us. We should celebrate them. How much more should we celebrate the Lord? He is the one who has given us life in our Mother’s womb. He is the One who gave us parents to care for us. He created joy, delight, pleasure, celebration, and love just for us. He made us so we
could enjoy His creation. For believers, He has not only made us, He has re-made us. He has made us new creatures in Christ. He has thrown off the shackles of sin from our lives and made it possible for us to know new and abundant life. But it is more than this. Not only has God created us, He has also made us His own. We are His. What a great picture this is. Think about how much fun it is to be with someone who has special access: a person who has great seats at a game, the one who can get us back stage passes at a concert, or the one who can introduce us to a special someone. At those times we like to say, “I’m with him!” It is a wonderful privilege and honor. How much greater the honor is to be known as one who belongs to the Creator of the universe! When we belong to Him we have nothing to fear. No matter what the crisis of our life we can rejoice because we know that we are His. He has promised that nothing will separate us from His love; He has promised He would never leave us. He has promised that all things will work for good in our lives. We can dance, we can shout, we can clap like a little kid at a birthday party because we belong to the Lord. Let me give you another image that some might think crude but may be more appropriate than you think. Think about the family dog. When you are gone, the dog waits for you and watches for you. When they see you, what happens? Their tail begins to wag wildly. Why? They are filled with joy because they know that you are the one who cares for them. You are the one who provides for them. You are the one who loves them. When they see you, they know they will be well taken care of. They can’t help but rejoice. We should be the same way as we gather to worship. We have come to meet with the Father and that should make our hearts wag with joyful anticipation. Of course there are many other things that God does: He gives strength in difficult times, salvation to all who will receive it, healing to broken bodies, children to enjoy, His Word to guide us, and the privilege of being part of the work of His Kingdom. We Should Rejoice Because of the Character of God Dr. Sproul writes, I am convinced that the most profound reason why worship has declined goes beyond the often identified problems of archaic language and adjusting to unfamiliar rituals. I am persuaded that worship has become irrelevant to multitudes of people because people are bored by a God they really don ’t know; therefore they consider him irrelevant. If we want to worship joyfully, we must remind ourselves of who this Great God really is. The Lord is Good (v.5). Let this sink in. If you lived in a city that was ruled by a vicious King, you would not rejoice when he came to town. Imagine living in a town in Iraq when Saddam Hussein and his forces rolled into town. You would be fearful
because you would not know whether he was coming to celebrate you or destroy you. How much different when a good leader comes to town. You rejoice because you know the leader cares and wants to help. God is awesome and He is the Judge of the Universe, however, because of our relationship with Jesus Christ, we do not fear Him in the sense of being terrified by Him. His sure rule is actually a comfort to us. It reminds us that wrongs will be righted; evil will not win. Though we may feel beat up by life, and that we are “getting the short end of the stick”, yet we rejoice because we know that this is temporary. We know this because God is Good. His love endures forever (5b). Isn’t this a great statement? We rejoice and give thanks to God for our families because they see us on our good days and on our bad days but they still love us. There is a wonderful security in feeling safe in the love of another. Such is the case with God. We know that nothing will separate us from His love . . Nothing. He will still love us even when we stumble, when we fail, and when we fall short. Though the entire world turns against us, God will not. This is an incredible truth that should provoke joy in our hearts. He is faithful through all generations (5c). In other words, God is perfectly consistent and always dependable. We don’t have to worry about God having a bad day or a bad century. He fulfills His promises. He is always available to His children. He is always eager to hear our requests. We live in a society that is always changing. Things and people we thought we could always count on let us down. The storms of life blow us all over the place. But in the chaos of life there is an anchor. That anchor is God’s sure faithfulness. We can depend and rely on Him. Of course there are many other character traits of God that should provoke joy in our hearts: His incredible mercy (extended to those who deserve wrath), His flawless righteousness, His awesome Holiness, and His incomparable wisdom just to name a few. If we understand who God is, we should have joyful anticipation when we have the opportunity to meet with Him. PURSING JOYFUL WORSHIP If we want to know this kind of joyful worship, several things must happen. First, we must not confuse Joyfulness with Activity. When we confuse true joy with activity we spend all our time searching after that something that will excite us. It may be a new purchase, a new experience, or a new mate. It’s a vicious treadmill. The same thing can happen in our worship. We look for newer songs, more creative activities, and more powerful programs. However, if we look for joy in these things we will always discover that our joy will be temporary. The novelty of these things will eventually wear off. We will find ourselves always looking for something new to get us excited about our worship. This is a treadmill that many churches are running upon. They are constantly looking for ways to excite the congregation. It’s
a dead end street. Our joy is not to be found in the things we do, but in the God we worship. Joyful worship should certainly be evidenced in our expressions such as shouting, singing, and dancing but those things are not joy . . . they are expressions of joy. You can be just as joyful being quiet and warmly content in the Lord. My point once again is this: joyful worship starts in the heart. Don’t look for things to provoke joy . . . look for God! Music is a great stimulus to joyful worship but you shouldn’t need music for joyful worship. We should be able to worship God joyfully with music or without. Joy is the fruit of relationship. Second, we must make time to recount our blessings and remember the greatness of God. We have forgotten what a privilege it is to meet with God! We forget that the invitation to “come into His presence” is a formerly uncommon and staggering invitation. In the days of Israel only the High Priest was able to go into God’s presence and then only once a year. Only prophets spoke to God with regularity. The idea of being invited into His presence was too incredible to imagine. That invitation has been extended to us. We shouldn’t take it for granted. On occasion I like to pause before prayer to look around the room. I see pictures of family which remind me of how blessed I am. I see books that remind me of the many people God has brought into my life to instruct me and enrich me. I see the comforts of home. I see the sunlight flooding in from the sky or even the gentle rain which nourishes the earth. These things remind me of how good, gracious, kind, and faithful God has been. If I pause to think about where I would be without Him I am humbled and am filled with joy once again. Worship is a natural response. We need to prepare our hearts for worship. CONCLUSIONS If you are merely here today logging your time to score points with God, then it is not surprising if worship leaves you somewhat cold. You need to know Him as the One who cleanses you from your sin and makes you into a new person. If you feel joyless in worship, may I ask: “Have you ever met the object of our worship? Have you ever come to put your faith truly in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord?” If not, I encourage you to begin a new relationship with God, one not based on formal ritual but based on a personal relationship of love. I have to admit that this message pushes me beyond my comfort zone. I am not by nature a demonstrative person. I’m uncomfortable in places where there is a lot of activity and a lot of noise in worship. When I am working I don’t have music on in the background. I like quiet so I can think, reflect, and wonder. You may be different. You may be a person who needs to express yourself. You may be one of those people who needs to physically touch everyone you talk to. You bounce to music, and you are always active. You want a worship that is fast paced.
You can’t conceive of too much music. You want to respond with an “amen” or “right on”. You are comfortable with raising and clapping your hands in praise. The Bible is not trying to tell us that one of us is wrong and the other is right. Different people express joy in different ways. Some are demonstrative; others are reflective. Some are boisterous; others are quiet. Some are self-conscious; others are not. People are different and it only stands to reason that their expression of worship will be different. So here’s what I conclude: God wants us to respond to Him honestly. We must respect the people around us in corporate worship, but we must also remember that we are not here for the people around us, we are here to honor the Lord. So if you need to say “Amen!” Do it! But don’t do it to prove you are spiritual, do it as a way of affirming the great truth of the gospel. If you want to raise your hands in praise to God . . . do so. If you want to sing loud . . . let it rip. If you want to bounce and do a little dance . . . dance before the Lord! As you do, realize that your response is not a sign of your spirituality . . . your heart is the true indicator of your worship. Your response is more about your personality than your devotion. And if you don’t want to say “Amen”, if you don’t feel comfortable raising your hands, if you don’t want to sing loud or bounce around. Don’t. In the quiet of your inner self celebrate the Lord in a way that is honest and appropriate to you. Our job is not to evaluate each other’s preference or style of worship. Our job is adore, celebrate and honor the God who created us and called us His own.
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