Sermons

Summary: A call to exuberant praise, and reasons for this praise.

MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE.

Psalm 100.

PSALM 100:1a. This “Psalm of praise” is known in some liturgical circles as ‘Jubilate’, after the first word of the Latin version. The English translation of the original Hebrew is “Make a joyful noise.”

(Similarly, Psalm 95:1-2 twice calls upon us to “make a joyful noise”: ‘to the Rock of our salvation’ [God/Jesus], and ‘unto Him with psalms.’)

PSALM 100:1b. This is an imperative, calling us to exuberant worship of the LORD. It is addressed to “all the earth.”

(Psalm 98:4 addresses the same call, to ‘Make a joyful noise unto the LORD’ to “all the earth”: ‘make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.’)

(Psalm 92:1 encourages us that, ‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD’, and to sing praises to His name.)

(By Psalm 150:3-6, the whole orchestra is engaged in this service. There is nothing dull about the worship of God!)

PSALM 100:2. The type of service enjoined here clearly includes what we call ‘worship’. As we “come before His presence”, it includes singing. All of our service should be “with gladness”, but perhaps especially our ‘worship.’

PSALM 100:3. Worship is based in knowledge. Hence the word “Know” at the beginning of this verse. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, ‘You (all) worship what you (all) do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews’ (John 4:22).

So why do we worship? It is because “the LORD, He is God.” “He made us” - both in Creation, but also in Covenant: “we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.”

(Psalm 95:7 states that ‘He is our God; and we the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.’)

PSALM 100:4. “Enter into His gates” suggests a processional: perhaps pilgrims going up to the Jerusalem Temple. But it also a metaphor of our whole approach to God.

We “enter His gates” with “thanksgiving,” acknowledging God’s goodness. We “enter His courts” (another way of saying the same thing) with “praise” (e.g. with Psalms upon our lips). We are “thankful unto Him,” and “bless (speak well of) His name.”

When we bless or praise God, we add nothing to Him: but there is healing power when we take stock of our blessings and honour Him. It does wonders for us and, like the Old Testament priest, we magnify Him before the people. True worship, after all, is God-centred.

PSALM 100:5. Again we are given reasons for this exuberance:

1. “For the LORD is good.” It is the LORD who puts gladness in our hearts (cf. Psalm 4:7).

2. “His mercy (covenant love) is everlasting” (endures forever, never fails).

3. “His truth” (faithfulness) will continue “to all generations.”

‘God commends His love towards us, in that, while we yet sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1). There is nothing, but nothing that will ever separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus (cf. Romans 8:38-39).

Read Romans 11:33-36.

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