Friday, May 17, 2013

Psalm 100 - For the Lord is good

For the Lord is good


crab apple blossoms

A Psalm for Giving Thanks

1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 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.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,  and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;  his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100
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I had intended to talk about psalm in two blogs.  It didn't turn out that way.  I had some time limitations in my preparation of this weeks blogs.  But that was not the only reason. I may have been repetitious in what I wrote.  I may have seemed to stray to far away from this psalm in some of my writing.  The bible is a library of many books, but it is one story.  It is the story of God's plan of redemption for fallen mankind.  All of the Word of God are true and inspired.  The words are all connected.  It is all truth, in one context. You cannot study one verse without acknowledging its connection to the entirety of the Word. Never does the Bible contradict itself, its purpose, or God's plan. All of those reasons contributed to stretching the look at Psalm 100 to five days.

I find that this short psalm is worthy of more than the five days I spent on it.  It should be in our heart at all times.  As Christians we should definitely have and attitude of gratitude.  This gratitude should be should spontaneous and joyful.  This attitude is demanded by God in His commands. This  attitude is demanded by the very nature of God.  We cannot help but praise and thank God because of what He has done for us.  But even more we cannot we cannot come into His presence without awe, thanksgiving and praise. It is an automatic response of believers to the presence of God.

I must confess that I memorized this psalm more than 50 years ago, but I really did not pay enough attention to the words. I missed out on a lot of the benefits of what I was able to recite, but not internalize.   Today we will look at the final verse of this short psalm.

In the previous four verses we were given seven commands.

  1. Make a joyful noise to Yahweh.
  2. Serve Yahweh with gladness.
  3. Come before Yahweh with joyful songs.
  4. Know that God is your Lord.
  5. Come into the presence of God with praise.
  6. Give thanks to Yahweh
  7. Bless (show honor and praise) to God
We really do not need to be given any reasons to praise God.  He is worthy of our praise because He is God.  He is the eternal I AM.  By his nature He deserves our praise. In verse five, however,  we are reminded of three reasons for following those seven commands. For the Lord is good;  his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.  Psalm 100:5    

For the Lord is good.  The Hebrew word used here is טוֹב tob.  The word can refer to both the quality or the morality of goodness. It refers to pleasant, delightful, pleasing and bountiful. God is the source and perfect example of goodness.  God is good.  He is always good. His ways are perfect. His commands are best for us. C. H. Spurgeon wrote this about the goodness of God: This sums up his character and contains a mass of reasons for praise. He is good, gracious, kind, bountiful, loving; yea, God is love. He who does not praise the good is not good himself.  The kind of praise [instilled in this psalm Psalm, that of joy and gladness], is most fitly urged upon us by an argument from the goodness of God.

His steadfast love endures forever. The word here is חֶסֶד hesed. It is translated as steadfast love,   mercy, or as as lovingkindness in various versions of the Bible. The Hebrew word means loyal love or unfailing love, and specifies Gods faithfulness to His people through his covenant relationship. It denotes a strong sense of goodwill, especially such as can be relied upon in times of need. God's love is constant and forever toward His people.

His faithfulness to all generations. The Hebrew word is אֱמונָה  muna, which means faithfulness, steadiness, trustworthiness. God is faithful and true to His people.  God's faithfulness is to all generations. God is fair, just and faithful to His people. God is good because He is faithful, loving, loyal and merciful.  God is faithful, loving, loyal and merciful because He is good. God is not fickle  does not change His mind. As he was faithful to Moses and His people, He will be faithful to His people today. God has never broken his word and He never will.

Is an attitude of gratitude important? Yes, indeed!  We know that it is important to our physical health.  It benefits our mental health.  And it is commanded in our spiritual live as a Christian. Is ingratitude rampant in our times today? Yes indeed!  Let us take a look at 2 Timothy 3:1-5  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self- control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Psalm 100 tells us that we can and should have an Attitude of Gratitude.  It is important that Christians are grateful people. We must show gratitude to others and to God.  God deserves our praise and thanksgiving.   Let's Thank God!

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Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.
A.W. Tozer
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Many years ago, Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible scholar, was once robbed of his wallet. Knowing that it was his duty to give thanks in everything, he meditated on this incident and recorded in his diary the following:

I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.
  Matthew Henry
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God is in control, and therefore in EVERYTHING I can give thanks - not because of the situation but because of the One who directs and rules over it.
   Kay Arthur
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When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
 G.K. Chesterton
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Thou who has given so much to me, give one thing more: a grateful heart.
 George Herbert



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