Thoughts on the Way Home

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Knowledge of God Should Set Us Singing


The Knowledge of God Should Set Us Singing--The Theme of Psalm 100

How much should joy, gladness, and rejoicing be a part of my daily life and activity? The Psalmist seems to think it should play a major part. He's not speaking of emotions or feelings necessarily; neither does he have in mind spiritual highs and lows. Rather, he is aiming at something higher, deeper, and more foundational to our living, walking, worshiping, and our daily perspective.

It is not how we feel nor what circumstances are occurring in our lives that are to regulate joy and gladness. Rather, the Psalmist says, it is the knowledge of God alone--that He is God, that He made us and not ourselves, that we are His by right of creation and redemption. This is the theme of Psalm 100. It is as rich as it is short. In five brief verses, David reminds us that our joy, gladness, rejoicing, and yes, even singing ought to and will characterize our lives.

Do we notice really, with any force, the extent of this call to actually live in spiritual gladness? vs 1- "Make a joyful noise"; vs 2- "Serve the Lord with gladness"' vs 2- "Come before Him with singing"; vs 4- "thanksgiving--praise--give thanks--blessing his name". In three brief verses we are summoned, commanded, and invited to practice gladness, singing, joyfulness, thanksgiving, praise, and rejoicing. That's a full plate of response. It is not theory, but practical actions of what is to come forth from us toward Him.

Why are we to be rejoicing, singing, and being glad? Is it because we feel good, feel encouraged, that our work is going well, that all our bills are paid, or other earthly circumstances are turning out well--that problems are being solved and things are going our way? Psalm 100 says nothing of that. Indeed, the reasons given have nothing to do with anything about earthly circumstances. Instead, they have everything to do with two foundational realities--WHO God is and HOW He is toward us. Here are two brief reasons David gives for a daily life of celebration.

First, because of WHO God is. "Know that the Lord, he is God! It is He who made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture." (vs. 3) The true and accurate knowledge of who God is calls us to this joy and singing. We aren't to sing just because we're happy or blessed--we are to sing because He is God every day! "KNOW that the Lord, he is God!" (vs. 3) This is why the Psalmist is singing, serving with gladness and rejoicing. It is the true knowledge of God, and not just the blessings of God, that bring us to a life of abiding joy in Christ.

Second, because of HOW He is toward us constantly. Vs 5- "For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations"; God's attributes of goodness, redeeming love, and faithfulness are the reasons given for rejoicing. His constant goodness, his relentless love, and his perfect faithfulness are abundant reasons that drive us to being glad, to singing, and to rejoicing. Remember--rejoicing is not feeling joyful, but rather is a choice to praise and bless God for who He is and what He is constantly toward us.

So let us hear with fresh ears the Psalmist this morning call us to new joy this.

In this brief Psalm, we are told to:

"Make a joyful noise"
"Serve the Lord with gladness"
"Come into His presence with singing"
"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise"
"Give thanks to Him"
"Bless His name"

What a call--what a privilege--what an honor. A joyful Christian is a walking eloquent sermon. A joyless Christian is a dishonoring and disobedient child. A dull, somber, believer brings no glory to the glorious God that is. Gladness, rejoicing, thankfulness, and gratitude is to be our daily clothing. Only then, do we reflect the reality of God as our Creator and faithful Father.

So the question for today is--Am I going to sing today, rejoice today, be glad in Him today, and saturate my life with joyfulness or am I going to deny Psalm 100?

- Mack Tomlinson