Originally written in 2004…
Today’s verse is:
“Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!” (Ps. 100:1, NKJV)
Psalm 100 was probably written by King David, says one of the commentaries I read. The Jews claim that this Psalm was sung when the peace offerings for thanksgiving were offered up.
I am reading through my Bible, just two chapters a day, and right now I’m in the book of Job. That means I’ve finished reading through all the historical books from Genesis to Esther. I really enjoyed reading about the good and evil kings of Israel and Judah. I especially enjoyed reading in Ezra and Nehemiah about how the obedient Jews returned from their captivity in Babylon, and how they rebuilt the walls and the temple in Jerusalem. Several celebrations were recorded, and I often wish I could have been there as the people stood shoulder to shoulder, listened to the Law as it was read, and shouted their commitment to Jehovah God.
While I’m not Jewish, I’m thankful the Psalmist tells me that I can shout joyfully to the Lord, too! Romans 11 tells me that even though I’m a Gentile (a Swedish-German, in my case), I have been “grafted in” to the body of Christ, like a branch that has been grafted in to an olive tree.
Psalm 95:1 says, “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.” We have so much to sing and shout about! My pastor jokes that since he can’t sing, he’ll try to make a joyful noise… but that we might want to sit in the back. 🙂
Psalm 100:1 tells us to shout joyfully. When I think of the word joyful, I think of being all filled up — ready to burst! — with gladness. This, of course, is NOT my natural mood! 🙂 I’ll smile sometimes, I’ll even laugh out loud, but “filled up, ready to burst”? This kind of joy takes work. I have to prepare my mind for it. I have to think and think so much about God and His deeds for me that first, there is a little trickle of joy, then a little rush more, then finally a river floods out.
This verse tells us to shout. Shouting is embarrassing, isn’t it? I suppose some people are naturally outgoing, so they wouldn’t be intimidated by shouting in public. (I’m usually too shy to sing out loud in the shower!) But I want you to notice that this Psalm was written for a GROUP to sing together. Remember those Jews standing shoulder to shoulder? I take great comfort in gathering together with my fellow believers on Sunday. It’s easier to worship in a group, and I think that’s on reason why God tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25). We don’t actually shout in my church, but there have been times I’ve wanted to.
For instance, this last Sunday we were sharing prayer requests. It seemed that many of us had urgent burdens on our hearts. But then we began to sing. I remember having a hard time singing because of the overwhelming feeling of praise and joy to a God who cares about our every need.
Someday we’ll be in heaven, and we’ll stand shoulder to shoulder as subjects of the King of Kings. Angels’ trumpets will announce Him, and we’ll shout in exultation. I’m sure there will be tears of joy and thankfulness for all He has done for us. We’ll stand together, people from every land and language, all together in our love and gratitude to the King.
In the next few weeks, we’ll begin to list some of the reasons why we should praise God. We’ll talk about who He is and what He has done. My prayer is that meditating on the goodness of God will help us to praise Him constantly and consistently, regardless of the changes around us and the fluctuating moods within us.
Praise God, from whom all blessing flow,
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.