Meditations on the Psalms #200

Psalm 100 Part 2

V2 reminds us that our worship constitutes a significant part of our service to God. Just as we must dig the ground to grow something to eat, so also, we must worship God to build a life worth living. While there is a place for quiet, reflective worship, rejoicing with gladness should predominate in our public worship. Christians have sometimes expressed their faith in ways that some people see as humourless, stubborn, stern, and gloomy.  Such a faith is unattractive! But the fact is that even people of faith sometimes feel gloomy.  We have our ups and downs like everyone else.  How then can the psalmist expect us to “serve Yahweh with gladness” when we aren’t feeling glad?  The psalmist will address that in verse 3, where he gives reasons why we should rejoice.

Firstly, regardless of our feelings, “we are his. We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” The Israelites celebrated their covenant relationship with God, but Christians are also God’s covenant people (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6). The entering of His gates reminds me of the triumphal climax of the new Jerusalem in Rev21 with its 12 gates.

The most important reason for our exuberant praise is v5: “For Yahweh is good.  His lovingkindness endures forever, his faithfulness to all generations” (v. 5). As we have noted on many occasions, the word chesed has a rich variety of meanings––kindness, unfailing love, lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, or love.  Each of these meanings indicates a kindly and positive attitude toward the beloved. A ‘faithfulness’ that endures through all ‘generations.’

The psalmist notes that Yahweh’s lovingkindness endures forever. Israel had abundant opportunity to see the truth behind this statement.  Israel gave the Lord ample reason to abort his covenant relationship with Israel, but he maintained that relationship through thick and thin.  With the coming of Jesus, God didn’t abort the covenant relationship, but simply expanded it to include those previously excluded.
When the psalmist calls us to bless His name, he is suggesting that we kneel in homage to Yahweh as a demonstration of reverence and an expression of praise.

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