September 10, 2021
Scripture: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 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. Psalm 100:1-3 ESV
Observation: While there is no denotation of authorship, Jewish tradition holds that Moses wrote Psalm 100 along with Psalm 90. It is the only psalm in the biblical psalter with the superscript: A Psalm for Thanksgiving. And who would have a better reason to give thanks to Yahweh than Moses? Called by God to lead his chosen people from Egyptian bondage to a land flowing with milk and honey, Moses would witness time and again God’s might (delivering Israel from their enemies) and longsuffering mercy (redeeming Israel when they strayed).
Takeaway: Why do we give thanks to God? Because he took delight in creating us and chose us as well to be his beloved children and the sheep of his pasture (verse 3). And as the Good Shepherd, he will lead us through the perils of this fallen world to our eternal Promise Land where we will enjoy him forever.
How do we give thanks to God? Three ways: joyfully, by serving the Lord with gladness, and by entering into his presence (the fellowship of believers) with singing (verses 1-2). But what if we do not feel joyful? Even if our hearts are heavy, if we make an effort to “come into his presence” where others praise and give thanks to our Lord, we will eventually find joy and room in our hearts to give him thanks. And thankful children of the Father who know they are loved will naturally want to show his love to others. When we feel spiritually dry, serving others who have needs can lift our spirits and lead us to a place of thanksgiving.
Prayer: Father God, deepen our knowledge of your love for us that we might develop the habit of joyfully giving thanks to you no matter our circumstances. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling