Tuesday, August 29, 2023

2023.08.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 100

Read Psalm 100

Questions from the Scripture text: What sort of Psalm does the superscript call this? What does Psalm 100:1 command to be made? What sort of shout? To Whom? Who are to make it? What command does Psalm 100:2a give? Serve Whom? In what manner? What command does verse 2b give? Come where? With what? What does Psalm 100:3a command? Know Whom? That He is Whom? That He has made what (verse 3b)? Who didn’t make them? Into what relation with God does His making bring us (verse 3c)? What other relation do we have with Him? What command does Psalm 100:4a give? Enter where? Whose gates? With what? Enter where else (verse 4b)? Whose courts? With what? What command does verse 4c give? Thankful to Whom? By blessing what? Why—for which attribute of His in Psalm 100:5a? And which attribute in verse 5b? What about His covenant love (“mercy”)? And which attribute in verse 5c? What about His faithfulness (“truth”)?

When all earth finally comes to YHWH, what shall they do? Psalm 100 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these five verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that all earth must come and worship YHWH in a manner appropriate to their relationship to Him and to the character that He has displayed in bringing us into that relationship.  

In the Holy Spirit’s arrangement of the Psalms into the order in which He brought them to us, this Psalm follows several Psalms that look forward to the praise of the last day, when redeemed from all the nations praise the Lord upon His coming to judge the world. It is the conclusion to a section of worship Psalms (Psalms 93–100). What are the redeemed to do, when He comes? We are to worship! Indeed, all worship assemblies of God’s people are dress-rehearsals for this. So, let us pay good attention to the instruction given here.

Worship Him in a particular manner, Psalm 100:1–3a. Shout joyously. Serve. Come. Know. These are the actions of worship commanded here. The verb for the shouting is one that includes the idea of joy. The next two verbs have a manner added to them “with gladness” and “with singing.” 

But how are we to summon such intense joy? Some of us perhaps have been in situations where this was attempted by lighting, or greeting, or melody, or a collective effort of the people gathered to summon joy from within, but the final command in this section gives the key to true worship-joy: “Know!” Know YHWH. Know that He is God. 

The proper manner of worship is not man-induced joy but God-induced joy. Joy that is springs from knowledge of the object of our worship. Joy that that springs from knowing the Person Whom we worship. Don’t just come to think about Him. Don’t just come to address Him. Come to know Him; come to interact with Him.

Worship Him as a particular peoplePsalm 100:3-4. The joy of our worship comes not only from knowing YHWH as God but from knowing Him as our Maker and Redeemer. Our failure to praise and thank Him (cf. Romans 1:21) is so foolish. It is as if we think that we have made ourselves. So the Psalm reminds us of something that should be obvious: we did not make ourselves! He made us.

But He has done more than make us. The singers of this Psalm, the offerers of this worship, are His covenant people. Not just “His people” as those made by Him but “His people” as those pastured by Him, those pastored by Him. Oh, there is joy in knowing YHWH as God, but how great is that joy when we do this “knowing Him” as those who are His sheep! There’s a double image in Psalm 100:4 for the worshipers as they gather to God: not just the sheep of verse 4 being brought into the fold by the hand of the shepherd, but also subjects entering the gate/court of a King.

In Hebrew, as in English, the last word of Psalm 100:4 is “His Name.” He has given these sheep, these subjects, to know Him by Name. He has brought them near and divulged Himself to them. Do you see what a great thing it is to worship God in the assembly of His people? He brings us near and makes Himself known to us! This is what fuels the thanksgiving, praise, and blessing.

Worship Him for particular attributesPsalm 100:5. The three lines in the conclusion to this Psalm highlight three attributes: goodness, covenant love, and faithfulness. To know the Lord and draw near to Him as He makes Himself known to us is to know His attributes, His perfections, His glories. In particular, His goodness, love, and faithfulness have displayed themselves in His redeeming us and gathering us. So, every time we are gathered to worship Him, these three are on spectacular display. An entire devotional, indeed an entire book or a world of books, could be given to each attribute. Such is the character of the God to Whom we gather, the character of the God Who gathers us to Himself. And He is worthy of this worship!

Where should your joy be coming from, when you gather for public worship on the Lord’s Day? So, what will you set your mind and heart upon? What is happening in the worship service? What three attributes of God are always on particular and spectacular display? How is He presenting them to you? How will you receive and respond?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we rejoice to worship You. Thank You for gathering us to Yourself for that worship now. You made us. You redeemed us for Yourself. You shepherd us. And when You gather us to Yourself, You show Yourself abounding in goodness and steadfast love and faithfulness that are from everlasting to everlasting. So grant us thankfulness from Your Spirit, by which we may praise You through Your Son, through Whom we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP100 “All Earth, With Joy” or TPH100B “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” 

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