TEXT: Psalm 100:1-5
READING: Nehemiah 8:1-18
SUBJ: Our approach unto the Lord and the privilege of praise and thanksgiving as a state of mind and a way of life before Him.
AIM: That we might learn and experience that our ultimate thankfulness is for God Himself in Jesus Christ our Lord and true joy is known in Him alone.
INTR: Often we find ourselves giving thanks for the incidentals of life and well we should. Better it is that these occasions be an expression of an ongoing condition – being thankful as a way of life.
1. This Psalm is given the title “A Psalm of Praise” and well it should, but the margin renders the words “A Psalm of Thanksgiving” and so we take it to be both.
2. The season upon us has lost much of its meaning from its beginning and it is only among true believers that ultimate thanksgiving may be offered (as opposed to a celebration of prosperity).
3. It is to be noted in this Psalm the reason for thankfulness here is a consciousness of the fact of divine creation and salvation by His mercy and grace. From Webster: Thankful – Grateful; impressed with a sense of kindness received, and ready to acknowledge it.
THESIS: When we enter His gates and His courts, we realize that the reason we are thankful is Him – the gift of Himself without reference to things. It is His presence alone that sanctifies all things to our good and His glory.
I. Joyful Anticipation (vv. 1-2)
1. Is this a future scene of perfect harmony of Saints and Angels in the presence of the Lord?
2. Or, does it reflect an unseen attitude that permeates every assembly of the Saints and sensed in community with Him?
3. In that Christ is our Life and that God is our salvation we treasure every thought of Him apart from the cares and affairs of this world. Do we not love the occasions of freedom from the worldly ordeals, the suffering and death? Entering into His courts in the manner described brings these times and seasons delightfully to us!
4. To be bidden to serve the Lord with gladness tells us that true happiness is only found in the Lord and His service – no servile duty here!
5. Spurgeon: “We ought in worship to realize the presence of God, and by an effort of the mind to approach Him. This is an act which must to the rightly instructed heart be one of great solemnity, but at the same time it must not be performed in the servility of fear, and therefore we come before Him, not with weepings and wailings, but with Psalms and hymns.”
6. It is a universal call and perhaps does look to a time when “all peoples that on earth do dwell” will “sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.” Is it any wonder that this Psalm has been paraphrased in the hymns of many!
II. This Source of this Joy (v. 3)
1. It is in the knowledge of Him that we possess salvation: And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3
1) We know Him as our Triune God and savior – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
2) We know Him as Sovereign creator
3) And we know Him as our Redeemer and loving possessor!
2. That claim is preciously purchased and claimed
1) By right of creation – “He hath made us…”
2) By right of redemption – But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. Isaiah 43:1
3) We are preserved and recall that our Lord declared that He had lost none!
III. A joyous relationship (v. 4)
1. There is certainly the implication of a vocal expression of thanksgiving and praise arising from loving constraint. This is not prescribed, it is forthcoming as the reaction of those who find themselves having access to the courts of God and His presence. Compare those who will flee from His presence.
2. That little word “be” is so important in that it speaks to our existence. When the Psalmist declares “be thankful unto Him,” it is not what we ought to do but who we ought to be as a way of life.
3. All of this comes as a result of regeneration, revelation, sanctification and glorification together with Him!!!
IV. A joyous promise (v. 5)
1. That the Lord is good not only describes His essential being ( He cannot be anything but good) but it also describes our perception of Him in all things!
2. Salvation is good in that it is of the Lord and
1) His mercy is everlasting – it not only provides forgiveness and justification it also provides assurance of eternal life and identity with Him.
2) His truth endures to all generations – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17