Faithlife Sermons

A Psalm of Thanksgiving (Ps 100)

Advent 2020  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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For what should we give thanks?
Seven commands . . . broad context of worship – more specific theme of thanksgiving
A song of thankful praise brings this group of homage-psalms (see on Ps. 93) up to an unclouded summit after their alternations of exuberance and awe.[1]
Purpose statement. Our thankful worship should be informed and active while still emotional.
1. ACTIVE. Our thankful worship is primarily an action.
a. Within this statement lies the accurate implication that our worship is not primarily an emotion. Worship is not primarily about how I feel. Worship is about what I do.
b. Make a joyful noise. I would like to further discuss joyful in a moment, but for now let’s just note that as we come to worship, we are to “make noise.”
“signal with loud noise, i.e., make a loud, public noise that signals a feeling or a future action…shout in triumph or exaltation.”[2]
“it is sometimes used more generally to simply indicate a joyful exclamation in response to God. In this sense, it is found in the call to worship at the beginning of hymns (47:1 [2]; 95:1, 2; 100:1).”[3]
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord! (Psalm 98:4–6).
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! (Psalm 95:1).
c. Serve the Lord.
i. Acts of worship. Lexicons offer the technical definition to abad as “work, serve.”[4] However, the context indicates that the act of service is towards God and could as well be understood as “worship.” The different versions manifest this variant in the second verse. The ESV, KJV, and NASB all translate the first word in the sentence as “serve,” whereas other versions (NET, NLT, NIV) all translate the word as “worship.”
“The command, Serve the Lord, is paralleled by Come into his presence, which is a reminder that an act of worship is well named a ‘service’. It is the first response we owe him…not the last.”[5]
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1).
ii. Service to others. Rarely do our acts of worship not spill over in service of others. The first act is worship and service to God, but this worship nearly always results in service to those around us.
d. Come into his presence with singing
Spurgeon. Singing, as it is a joyful, and at the same time a devout, exercise, should be a constant form of approach to God. The measured, harmonious, hearty utterance of praise by a congregation of really devout persons is not merely decorous but delightful, and is a fit anticipation of the worship of heaven, where praise has absorbed prayer, and become the sole mode of adoration. How a certain society of brethren can find it in their hearts to forbid singing in public worship is a riddle which we cannot solve.[6]
Isaac Watts, Come We That Love the Lord.” (1) Come, we that love the Lord, and let our joys be known; join in a song with sweet accord, and thus surround the throne. (2) Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God; but children of the heav'nly King may speak their joys abroad. [7]
e. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and praise
i. Thanksgiving and give thanks. The same root word is used for thanksgiving and give thanks.
TWOT. this verb was predominantly employed to express one’s public proclamation or declaration (confession) of God’s attributes and his works. This concept is at the heart of the meaning of praise. Praise is a confession or declaration of who God is and what he does. This term is most often translated “to thank” in English versions, but such is not really a proper rendering[8]
ii. Praise.
TWOT. This root connotes being sincerely and deeply thankful for and/or satisfied in lauding a superior quality(ies) or great, great act(s) of the object….The most frequent use of our root relates to praising the God of Israel. Nearly a third of such passages occur in the Psalms. The largest number of these are imperative summons to praise[9]
f. Bless His name
DBL. bless another, commend, i.e., speak words invoking divine favor, with the intent that the object will have favorable circumstances or state at a future time (Ge 1:22);[10]
2. INFORMED. Our thankful worship is motivated by God’s character, not our benefits.
Even our benefits are about declaring his glory. Worship and thanksgiving are always possible because they are rooted in God’s unchanging character instead of our often-changing emotions and circumstances.
a. God as Creator. We are to worship and give thanks because God is the sovereign over all things (vs. 3).
i. He made us – created us – therefore has claim to our beings, existence, etc.
ii. “we are his” or “not we ourselves”? “The present translation (like most modern translations) follows the Qere (marginal reading), which reads literally, “and to him [are] we.” [11]
iii. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. (Connect to John 10, 17, 21)
Longman. He is our Creator, and thus we belong to him. Indeed, he is our Shepherd, and like sheep we benefit from his protection, guidance and provision (see also Pss 23; 95:7)[12]
b. God as Redeemer. We are to worship and give thanks because God is good (vs. 5).
c. Make a joyful noise. A truly joyful noise is the byproduct of internal joy. Joy is the genuine contentment in the unchanging character of God. True joy flows as a response of knowing and appreciating God.
3. EMOTIONAL. Thankful worship, that is active and informed, produces emotion.
“In your worship, and in all your acts of obedience. Let there be joy in this service.” [13]
“God should be served with gladness, intimating that his kindness towards his own people is so great as to furnish them with abundant ground for rejoicing.”[14]
a. However, consider the terms describing our worship –
i. a joyful noise. A truly joyful noise is the byproduct of internal joy. Joy is the genuine contentment in the unchanging character of God.
ii. Serve with gladness.
iii. Enter with praise
iv. Enter with thanks
b. While these terms are rooted in the objective realities of God’s character, they nonetheless most definitely include emotion. But the emotion is secondary or is a by-product not the path to worship or the goal in worship or equal to worship.

Conclusion

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:18–23).
This is what I love, when I love my God. And what is this? I asked the earth, and it answered: ‘It is not I.’ Whatever things are in it uttered the same confession. I asked the sea, the depths, the creeping things among living animals, and they replied: ‘We are not Thy God; look above us.’ I asked the airy breezes, and the whole atmosphere with its inhabitants said: ‘Anaximenes[15] is mistaken; I am not God.’ I asked the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars: ‘Nor are we the God whom you seek,’ they said. And I said to all these things which surround the entryways of my flesh: ‘Tell me about my God, since you are not He; tell me something about Him.’ With a loud voice, they cried out: ‘He made us.’ My interrogation was my looking upon them, and their reply was their beauty.[16]
[1] Derek Kidner, Psalms 73–150: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 16, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1975), 388.
[2] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
[3] Willem VanGemeren, ed., New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), 1082–1083.
[4] Walter C. Kaiser, “1553 עָבַד,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 639.
[5] Derek Kidner, Psalms 73–150: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 16, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1975), 389.
[6] C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 88-110, vol. 4 (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers, n.d.), 233.
[7] Isaac Watts, “Come, Ye that Love the Lord,” 1707. https://hymnary.org/text/come_we_that_love_the_lord_and_let_our
[8] Ralph H. Alexander, “847 יָדָה,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 364.
[9] Leonard J. Coppes, “500 הָלַל,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 217.
[10] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
[11] Tremper Longman III, Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary, ed. David G. Firth, vol. 15–16, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2014). “There is a textual issue here. The written Hebrew text (the Ketib) says, ‘It is he who made us, and not we ourselves’ (so niv footnote), but the early scribes understood this to be a mistake ( not lō’) for ‘we are his’ and suggested that reading (Qere).”
Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Ps 100:3. “tn The present translation (like most modern translations) follows the Qere (marginal reading), which reads literally, “and to him [are] we.” The Kethib (consonantal text) has “and not we.” The suffixed preposition לו (“to him”) was confused aurally with the negative particle לא because the two sound identical.”
[12] Tremper Longman III, Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary, ed. David G. Firth, vol. 15–16, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2014), 349.
[13] Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 56.
[14] John Calvin and James Anderson, Commentary on the Book of Psalms, vol. 4 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 83.
[15] Anaximenes (Greek Philosopher of the 6th century B.C.E.) is best known for his doctrine that air is the source of all things.
[16] Augustine of Hippo, Confessions, ed. Roy Joseph Deferrari, trans. Vernon J. Bourke, vol. 21, The Fathers of the Church (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1953), 270–271.
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