>I read Psalm 100 on Sunday before leaving for worship, and I wish that I’d posted it then so that others might have benefitted as well. It’s a familiar psalm that many of us learned as little children. It’s also a marvelous prelude to appropriate worship and a daily guide for joyful service.
The English Standard Version (ESV) sub-titles it “His Steadfast Love Endures Forever” and notes that it is “A Psalm for giving thanks.”
It begins with a rousing call to worship (verses 1-2):
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Then it reminds us of our relationship with the God who made us, to whom we belong, and who daily cares for us:
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture (3).
Sometimes I look at my little lap dog, Libby, and I think of that old saying, “It’s a dog’s life.” She has a cozy bed in a warm house; she receives daily food and water witout work or worry. When I’m under a lot of stress or have a lot of concerns in my life, I sometimes think that she has a pretty easy life in comparison to mine. Of course, I don’t envy her pea size brain or bathroom arrangements (especially when temperatures drop below zero and the wind howls).
But the idea of being watched over and cared for has definite appeal. And that is reflected in the biblical analogy of God’s people being the sheep of his pasture. We may feel as if we’re wandering alone on a windswept moor, but we’re part of a flock that is directed into green pastures beside still waters.
Because God cares for us and provides all we need, we can rejoice with the psalmist as we come before God in prayer, family worship, or corporate worship on the Lord’s Day (4):
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
We can give thanks to God and bless his name because he is good and his love lasts:
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations (5).
God is a faitful covenant God who shows his love to believers and their children throughout their generations. In this knowledge, give thanks to him and bless his name. Serve your LORD today with gladness!