Summary: We shout to the Lord because of our faith in Christ. It is because of our hope in our eternal life that we sing songs of gladness.
There are days that I wake up in the morning and I don’t feel like the songwriter did when he wrote this Psalm. I don’t know about you but there are days, I feel like shouting, but, not joyful stuff. I would have to think that the writer of this Psalm whether it was David or someone else had good days and bad ones. We could suppose that this songwriter was having a great day when he penned these words and they are nothing more than the gushing sentiment of a psalmist having a great day and simply thanking God for His good fortune. There are others Psalms that are not as pleasant or positive. And you don’t have to go far from Psalm 100. Psalm 102 says, “Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you. For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like red-hot coals. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite. Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones.”
I can relate to these ancient songwriters. Some days I feel like Psalm 100, and others I feel like Psalm 102. It’s important to note that Scripture helps us to relate to God in our bad and good times. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right”
This means that there is truth in this Psalm to teach us something. You may not be having the kind of day, or month or even year that you feel like shouting to the Lord with a joyful noise. You may feel more like Psalm 102, groaning, sick, tired and depressed. This is the great thing about God’s Word though, you can learn about God and how to respond to Him, no matter what kind of day you’re having. And Psalm 100 teaches us a lot about God and how to worship Him.
The key to worship as this Psalm teaches is found in verse 3.
Know that the Lord is God
Most people in the world do not know this truth. The Joshua Project is an online research initiative seeking to highlight the ethnic people groups of the world with the fewest followers of Christ. According to their research there are 6.9 billion people living in the world today. Consider less than 1 billion people live in North, Central and South America combined and 1.2 billion live in one country alone. One of the most unreached countries on earth, China, almost 83% of the population has no idea about Jesus Christ. If the truth of Scripture teaches us that joy on the earth comes from knowing God, there are a lot of people in one country that will never experience the joy we know.
You may be having a great day, or a bad day, the great thing is that you have the opportunity to hear about the truth of your God. Your neighbors, friends, co-workers and your family all have ample opportunity to hear about the truth of God. But there are places on earth where the joy of knowing God is silent and non-existent. One of the keys to worship is the knowledge that we are doing everything we can to help the message of Jesus Christ get out into the world. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all the nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
I’ve heard it suggested that this was a command of Jesus only given to the audience of the Apostles present when he said this, so this commission doesn’t apply to us. But again, we need to allow the Scripture to teach us. 1 Peter 2:8-9 says, “people stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-12 “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”