This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 100 ‘All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord with cheer

This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 100

‘All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.’


The inspired heading of this popular psalm states that it is, ‘A Psalm of Thanksgiving,’ ‘A Psalm for the Thank-offering.’ One of the greatest privileges of the believer is that privilege of offering thanksgiving and praise unto the Lord for all His mercies. There is, perhaps, no better word to take upon our lips toward the accomplishment of this thank-offering than that found in this psalm. It has been the inspired means of praise employed by the church from the days of those who were among the first upon whose lips the Holy Spirit placed this song to those in the present day. It is difficult to imagine any improvement at all upon the content and matter of praise and thanksgiving contained within the ‘old hundredth.’

Evidently the Psalmist was able to make a joyful noise by coming before the presence of God with singing, perhaps even without the assistance of snare drums or bongos. It may even be deduced that the noise was the noise of a heart actually filled with the joy of thanksgiving. Can we not serve Jehovah with gladness of heart apart from the cacophony of noise-makers so common in the so-called ‘praise’ services of so many of today’s contemporary churches? How much lovelier is the ‘singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord?’ Could it be that this is in the back of James’ thinking when he directs us to, ‘let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay’? Does he not immediately follow this with the imperatives, ‘let him pray,’ ‘let him sing praise’? Are we not to be very thoughtful about every word (or noise) that proceeds from us? Even as it is painfully customary how that we are so prone to add unnecessary words to our statements supposing them to increase credibility in our asseverations, so we may likewise imagine that by adding ‘noise’ to our praises and thanksgivings, somehow they are being rendered more credible. Ought we not to let our praise be praise, and our thanksgiving, thanksgiving? The ‘noise’ added by the Psalmist consists primarily in extolling the greatness of the attributes of our God and rejoicing in that ‘we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.’ He not only makes a joyful noise unto Jehovah, but he calls all lands, all nations, all peoples to join him in doing so themselves. He would entice them to serve this God with gladness and to come into His presence with singing. Why? What are the reasons evinced that should so entice men of every tribe, nation, and tongue to praise Jehovah? This directive is followed with a declaration of the glorious attributes of God for which He alone is to be praised for each and every one of these wondrous attributes. He is THE GOD; know that Jehovah, the great I AM, is He that has made us for Himself, we are His. He is the Creator! We are the people that He has made and, therefore, we are ‘to enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. We are to render thanks unto Him and thereby bless His Holy Name. Is there any other being worthy of such thanksgiving, praise, adoration, and worship?

Our blessed Psalmist gives us more than ample reason for offering all our hearts in praise unto this, the Only True God, as He subsumes the innumerable wonders of the Creator under the terms of His attributes of goodness, (‘For Jehovah is Good’), lovingkindness, (His lovingkindness endureth forever.), and faithfulness, (‘His faithfulness is unto all generations). Here is surely an inspired model for every one of our praises to our God. Let us therefore determine to bring into our praises of God all the awful—that is, full of awe—and wonderful (full of wonder) of every one of His attributes that it has pleased our God to discover unto us from His Holy Word. We may, with warrant, even subsume the lovingkindness of God and His faithfulness both under His goodness. For, surely, His faithfulness and lovingkindness each flow out of His goodness; He is absolutely faithful even because He is absolutely good, and He is absolutely filled with lovingkindness, that is, He is abundantly merciful, also because He is infinitely good. Who should not thank, praise, and adore One who has proclaimed His Name, ‘Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth; keeping lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.’? And as we consider that this forgiveness in mercy, grace, forbearance, lovingkindness, and truth is promised by One who is perfectly faithful; ‘for he is faithful that promised.’ (Hebrews 10:23), and not one promise from Him has ever fallen to the ground, ought not our hearts yearn to bless and magnify His Name?

Have you noticed something absent from this ‘prayer’? Or, at least, what we may consider to be absent judged by our usual manner of praying? It is sad that we must confess that most of our prayers begin and end with ourselves. We start out, often, by confessing our sins and pleading for forgiveness. This is proper, of course, and a necessary part of prayer, yet why do we begin with ourselves? We move on from there, most commonly, to lift up our petitions for the needs of others as well as ourselves; this, too, is a proper and needful element of prayer, yet why do we continue with ourselves? We are so inherently self-centered, are we not? This Psalm; this Prayer, on the other hand, is replete from beginning to end with thoughts of God, the wonder of Him who is mercifully faithful, the wonder of Him who is faithfully merciful to all and any who call upon Him. The Psalmist would sing praise unto his God. He would come before His presence with singing; he would enter His gates with thanksgiving. He would come into His courts with praise; he would bless the blessed Name of Jehovah. And it is powerfully implied that he would not think of coming without singing; he would not dare to enter His gates without thanksgiving; he would not dream of coming into His courts without praise. This should convict us when we remember how often we have failed in doing just that. This Psalm is, as the margin indicates, a psalm for the thank-offering. Let us take care that we don’t find ourselves approaching our Creator and Redeemer; our Father of mercies and God of all goodness, having left our hearts of thanksgiving at home.


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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