Psalm 100 is a call to praise God as a response to God’s covenantal faithfulness. The call to praise God is a recognition of God’s steadfast character and an acknowledgment of God’s loyal love. Praise to God is also an expression of humility. What is humility? Humility is to rightly understand ourselves in relation to God and others. Humility is understanding that we are dependent upon God for our lives, that we have our limitations, and that we are not God. Humility is when we enter God’s gates and bend our knees in the glorious presence of a holy God. Yet, we are not to remain on our knees nor to leave our hands lifted to God in praise in the courts of the sanctuary. Instead, praise should inspire us to extend our hands in sacrificial and humble service to God and toward humanity.
Our expressions of praise are also acts of thanksgiving. We should be thankful to God because we sometimes wander aimlessly from the path of righteousness like sheep. Sometimes we become so busy or we get so distracted by problems that we stray from the loving guidance of our Shepherd. Yet, when we reflect upon the love and care God gives us daily as sheep in God’s pasture, it should lead to exuberant praise and faithful living. God is worthy of praise because God is continually, steadfastly, and consistently loyal to inconsistent people like us.
Psalm 100 was an exhortation for collective and individual praise to God as an expression of gratitude. Each one of us can be thankful today about something. We can be thankful to be alive. We can be thankful for food or shelter. We can be thankful to see, hear, or talk. We can be thankful for friends. Even when circumstances are difficult, situations are perplexing, or times are full of turmoil, there is something to be thankful. The psalmist was thankful for God’s faithfulness. Yet, praise is not simply an emotional response to God’s acts of faithfulness. Praise involves our minds.
Praise incorporates reflection on the faithful character of God. The psalmist reminded the people to think about the goodness, mercy, and truth of God. Praise includes a reflective process where we ponder about our experiences and deliberate about God’s character. Consequently, we ruminate about God’s goodness, faithfulness, mercy, love, and it motivates us to praise God in a myriad of expressions. Accordingly, praise involves our whole person—our emotions, minds, desires, bodies, and our will. Praise is an act of our will particularly when we face difficult circumstances. Yet, we choose to be thankful and bless the name of the One who blesses us daily.
Let us take time to reflect today. Let us think about how many times God has been merciful to us. Let us consider the magnitude of God’s love for us. Let us remember the joy of our salvation. Let us reflect upon God’s goodness, mercy, and faithfulness. Let’s make a joyful shout to the Lord today. Let us enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and into God’s courts with praise. Praise God today, for the Lord is good.
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