Larry C. Brincefield
Title: A Thanksgiving Classic—Psalm 100
Text: Psalm 100
There is an old Hebrew legend that the harp of David at midnight . . .
when the wind swept across the strings;
would give forth beautiful music.
A writer commenting on the legend, says,
“the poetry of that tradition is condensed in the Psalms
and that the Psalms contain the whole music of the heart of the man
as though swept by the hand of God, our Maker.”
This is a beautiful concept—
the Hand of God, our Maker—
sweeping across our lives—
making beautiful music in the form of praise.”
The Psalms are filled with praise and thanksgiving.
I did a word search for any form of the word thank (thanksgiving, thankfulness, etc) in the Bible.
I found that the Bible contains 150 occurrences of the word "thank" and its forms.
Psalms contains 36 occurrences of these words; or 25%
I also did a word search in the Bible for the word, “praise” and its forms.
I found that it occurred 420 times in the Bible.
I then searched just the book of Psalms and the word “praise” appeared 223 times.
In other words, 53% of the praises in the Bible will be found in Psalms.
Wouldn’t it be fun to look at all of them?
Tonight, I just want to look at Psalm 100.
Psalm 100 is called a Psalm for giving thanks in the little subheading under the chapter listing.
Psalm 100 doesn’t a single negative thought in the entire psalm.
One writer called it a classic.
There are classic cars,
there is classic coke,
I believe Wendy’s has or had a Classic hamburger.
Well, Psalm 100 is a Classic Thanksgiving Psalm.
It is for this reason that I would like for us to study this Psalm this evening.
Read Text: Psalm 100:1-5
1. First, verse 1 says, "Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord, all ye lands”. The NIV says, "“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.”
This is a call to praise to the Lord.
It is not for Israel alone,
but it is for all the earth.
Praise is not limited,
it is for all people.
In 1930, the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism raised a public protest at the custom of the American President proclaiming Thanksgiving as a National Day of Giving Thanks to God.
This organization felt that since there were so many jobless in our country,
and since the fields were without rain,
there was no cause for giving thanks.
The Pilgrims were thankful, even in the face of great adversity.
Remember Job? He had lost everything and do you remember what he said, “May the name of the Lord be praised”.
Many times, we overlook that there are many things to praise God for, in any situation.
When John Wesley was a student and before he became a Christian,
he was teasing a janitor at Oxford University.
This janitor was a godly man, but was also very poor.
John Wesley, noticing his shabby clothing, said, “Go home and change your coat.”
The janitor replied, “This is the only coat I have in the world and I thank God for it.”
Next, Wesley suggested that he go home and eat his supper.
The janitor said, “I have nothing but a glass of water, and I thank God for it.”
John Wesley continued, “It’s very late and I think you will get locked out, and then what will you have to thank God for?”
The janitor replied, “I will thank god I have dry stones to lie on.”
Wesley said, “Sam, Sam, you thank God when you have nothing to wear, nothing to eat, and nothing to lie on; what else do you have to thank Him for?”
Sam said, “I thank Him that He has given me life, and a heart to love Him, and a desire to serve Him.”
There are things to praise God for in any situation:
We can thank God for the air we breathe. Psalm 150:6 says, "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD"
We can thank God for the sun that lights our world.
We can thank Him for His love and mercy and forgiveness.
The Psalmist says: “Shout for Joy”!
2. Next, Verse 2 says, "Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”
This tells us that the highest form of praise is service.
Certainly our work and our service is easier and better quality and more productive
when we do it with cheerfulness and a good attitude.
Thomas Carlyle said, “Give me a man who sings at his work”.
The concept of service throughout the Bible is abundant.
We are called to be servants.
There are some people who buck against the yoke.
They complain about serving.
They want to be "free".
But the truth is that our service for the Lord is the highest form of praise.
Dr. Beeby said, “No work is well done that is not done joyfully”.
I’m sure you have gone to a restaurant and received good service.
Of course, it is important that the food be served timely and prepared as ordered.
But service goes way beyond this.
You can eat in the fanciest restaurant,
the food can be prepared perfectly
and served in record time;
but if the waitress grumbles about her work,
if she tosses your food at you,
if she frowns instead of smile,
if she grumbles when you want more to drink;
The attitude of the waitress can ruin your meal—
even when there was nothing wrong with the food.
I wonder if God feels the same way when we grumble about serving Him?
"Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before His
Presence with singing”
3. Verse three says, “Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.” In this verse, there are three reasons that we should praise the Lord.
We are to praise God because, simply put, “He is God”.
Genesis 1 says, “In the beginning, God”.
Hebrews says, “He is God, He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”.
We are to praise the Lord. We are to give thanks to the Lord. We are to serve the Lord;
not only because He is God,
but also because He has made us.
Isn’t it inspiring to know that God made us?
Some people adore themselves.
You’ve heard the saying that “he’s a self made man”.
Many people really believe that and worship themselves,
instead of the God who made us.
I remember when I was a teenager
and there was a time when I had low self esteem.
I would think I was ugly.
But my Mom would always say, “Larry, God made you, and God don’t make no junk”.
God has made me the way I am.
Let us praise and serve Him because He made us.
Not only do we praise the Lord because He Is God and because He made us;
but also because He is our Shepherd and we are His people.
God has not left us alone to go our own way.
He has not left us to chance.
He is watching over us.
He is guarding us
and providing for us as a shepherd does for a flock of sheep.
We need to remember that God is the Good Shepherd; and be thankful.
4. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
His gates and His courts refer to the temple.
Of course, we can worship anyplace.
But wherever we are, there must be praise;
there must be worship;
there must be an expression of our feelings to God.
Now, don’t get me wrong,
I’m not saying that we can worship at home instead of in the church.
I’m saying we can worship anywhere, in addition to the church.
In Hebrews, it says, “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together”.
We are to come into the Church with praise and thanksgiving upon our lips.
A week ago Sunday, we talked about in Old Testament times people used to bring animal sacrifices.
Animal sacrifices have ended.
But sacrifices of gratitude have not ended. Heb 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
There is a duty and an obligation on our part to perform thanksgiving.
Worship and praise should be always on our lips.
Sometimes, during the week, the thousands of blessings that God has given us are lost.
We don’t acknowledge them.
it takes coming into the Church,
and entering His courts with praise and thanksgiving.
Some people say, “I don’t feel like going to church today”
or “I have company”
or “I go all the time, it doesn’t matter if I miss on Wednesday evening”.
or “For goodness sakes, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have so much cooking to do”.
I believe that God wants us to come into the church
and bring with us the praise and thanksgiving that is due Him.
What better time than tonight,
Enter into His Gates with Thanksgiving and Into His Courts with Praise!
5. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations.”
Have we become numb by the difficulties in life?
Do you sometimes feel like you are under a cloud?
Do you get angry just reading the newspaper
and realizing all the junk that goes on?
Do you find yourself living in fear?
Well, contrast this with the idea that God is Good!
His Mercy is everlasting!
His Truth Endures!
The story is told that in the early days of our country,
a weary traveler came to the banks of the Mississippi River for the first time.
There was no bridge.
It was early winter, and the surface of the river was covered with ice.
Could he dare cross over?
Would the ice bear his weight?
Night was falling and it was important that he reach the other side.
Finally, after much hesitation and with much anxiety,
he began to creep across the ice on his hands and knees.
He thought that he would distribute his weight as much as possible
and keep the ice from breaking beneath him.
About halfway over,
he heard the sound of singing behind him.
Out of the darkness,
there came a man driving a horse-drawn wagon with a load of coal across the ice and singing as he rode along.
Here he was—
on his hands and knees,
scared to death that the ice would not be strong enough to hold him up;
and right beside him went the man with a loaded down wagon with 2 horses!
You’ve heard the song, Standing on the Promises”;
well this man was creeping on the promises.
God is Good.
God is merciful.
God loves us.
He has given us many promises.
We need to stand tall and stride bravely out upon the promises of God.
C. H. Spurgeon wrote: “I do not know how far we have to go before we shall reach our journey’s end; but this I know, the whole of the road that we have to travel is paved with love and faithfulness, and we need not be afraid."
What a beautiful Psalm! In closing, I would like us to quote this Psalm together. The words on printed on your Power Page.
Let’s stand and sing #25 “He Has Made Me Glad"
(Disclaimer: I got the idea for this sermon from one of my dad’s (Larry E. Brincefield) old sermons. If I missed crediting any sources, please advise so that I can edit this sermon to give proper credit)