God’s Character Commands our Joy, Trust and Submission
Let’s go ahead and turn to Psalm 100 this morning and as we look at the what God’s Character demands of us.
As we look at this psalm we find the psalm is a cause and effect or should I say an effect and a cause.
The first four verse provide the effects, this is what we should do or these are the demands that are put on us.
The last verse provides God’s character for us, it is His character which causes the effects of the first four verses.
So as we look at the first four verse we see how we are to appreciate God, how we are to thank Him and it is all because we are in actuality commanded to do so.
That is was I say God’s character commands first and foremost “joy.”
God’s Character Commands Joy
We find at least six commands in this psalm.
The first of these commands is the command to, “Shout,” followed closely by “Serve” and “Come” all with an emphasis on Joy.
The psalmist is talking to all the earth telling all people to shout with Joy to the Lord.
This is an act of homage to God.
He also wants the earth to serve the Lord.
Another way to look at this word is to “worship,” they are synonomous in this verse.
This psalm is focused on temple worship.
It is the idea of coming to the temple of God and performing the acts of service that are dedicated to God and God alone.
When the psalmist mentions here to come before Him, he is talking about entering God’s presence.
All three of these verbs, all three of these imperative commands are for the purpose of directing all the earth to focus on the One True God.
This is all about worship.
Worship with our voice, worship with our bodies, and worship with our minds, and hearts.
It is a call to a complete giving of ourselves over to the Only One who is worth honor and adoration, He is God.
This is a call to all people to do and this is before the coming of Jesus Christ.
This is not a cal to the Christians or to the church but we who know Christ are more obligated to answer this call to worship.
Paul writes this to the Roman church.
This is how we are to present ourselves to God we are to present all of ourselves before Him as living sacrifices.
That is what it means here to serve or to worship.
Notice the command here is to do it joyfully, with gladness and with joyful singing.
This is a bit of an oxymoron because God calls for us to come to Him with hearts of Joy not begrudgingly.
This is a command to do so.
How can we come to God with joy if it is a command?
By realizing who it is you are coming too.
He is not a God like all the other gods, He is a living and active God.
One who by His very nature and character should bring joy and gladness to our hearts.
God is the source of all joy.
He is the One who imparts joy in us.
Without Him we have no true joy and all we do is chase after the wind.
Jesus came so that His Joy may be made full.
He says this through out John’s gospel and in John 15:11 Jesus says this;
Jesus is our source of Joy, it is only through Him that we can have Joy and it is because of Who God is and what God has done through Jesus that we can joyfully appreciate who He is and what He has done.
The palmist continues by pointing us to God and we begin to see a little more of how we are to have joy and gladness when we come into His presence.
It is realized when we trust in God.
God’s Character Commands Trust
The fourth command is found in verse 3 were the psalmist writes, “Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
If you want to know how your are to have joy and gladness in your worship to God, well here it is, by “knowing.”
What are you to know?
Well you are to know, or even more deeply then this you are to understand, who God is and what God has done.
See here is the beauty of the God of Israel, He is real and He is approachable.
All the other gods of all the other religions of the day and even the gods of today are not approachable.
People are always trying to appease them.
They do all kinds of works to make them happy with us so we can come into their presence.
It’s not the same with the true and living God of Israel.
He wants us to know Him.
That’s why He has preserved His word for us.
So we can know Him.
Not only does He want us to know Him, He wants to dwell with us and that is why He placed His temple in Jerusalem.
That is why He built His tabernacle in the desert so He could be in the middle of all His people.
John writes this in his first letter to the church;
In verse 3 we also find that we are not only to “know” God, or understand who He is but also the reason for our “knowing” God or understanding Him.
“It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
We are commanded to know God because God has “made us” and God has “called” us.
This verse is speaking directly to Israel.
God has made us a people.
He has done this through His calling Abraham while he was still in Ur of the Chaldeans.
He calls Abraham and tells him he will be a great nation and all the nations will be blessed through him.
This great nation is the nation God calls out of Egypt, it is the nation of Israel.
God made them, God sustained them and God brought them to the land were they are here in this psalm and God established His temple on the Jerusalem Mount.
This was God’s work not man’s.
God did all of this and because God did all of this He can be trusted.
Not only did God make them a great nation, which in all honesty they had nothing to do with it.
God also called them His people, they are His sheep.
The beauty of this illustration is the fact that Sheep need to be led.
Sheep absolutely need a shepherd and with out a shepherd they wander around lost and even could follow one another straight off a cliff.
The psalmist is calling for us to know God and understand that we can trust Him as His prize possession.
The nation of Israel belongs to God and we being called also belong to God.
Then He says this a few verses later;
We are to trust in God and if we have trusted in God then we are also to submit to God.
God’s Character Commands Submission
The fifth and sixth commands are in verse 4. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”
The psalm is pointing to the temple courts and to the temple gates.
The psalmist wants the nation to enter God’s temple and His court where God sits enthroned with an offer of thanksgiving.
Here is the picture of submission before the almighty.
The idea of coming before a King and giving Him the honor He is due.
And no one deserve more honor and deserves our humble submission more then God Himself.
When we enter His gates and we come into His courts it is by His grace and our attitude must be one of gratitude.
True gratitude and true appreciation is pointed to the one who deserves it.
The greatest act of appreciation we can show God is in our submission to His will and His rule over our lives.
The psalmist says “bless His name,” it gives the idea here of making God’s name holy, honoring His very name.
That is what we are to do, when we show true deep appreciation through our submission to Him we exalt His name, we don’t defame His name.
God’s name is great and greatly to be praised.
His name is to be honored.
His name alone has power.
He is the Great I Am and the One who is and His name deserves to be honored.
Not only is His name to be blessed but the name of Jesus Christ is to be honored as well.
See when it came to the nation of Israel and even when it comes to us there is still one call upon our lives.
If God is our God, if He is our Lord and if He is our King we must submit to His will.
Trust in Him and trust in His name always leads to one outcome, obedience.
Paul in the opening to his letter to the Roman church writes this;
All of this is to guide the people to one goal and it is all an effect.
All of this is the effect or should be the effect God’s people have when they realize what causes this kind of behavior, this kind of attitude this kind of appreciation.