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This is the second-to-last in the series of psalms describing the coming of the LORD as King, the Messiah (Psalms 93-101). Now that the LORD’s kingdom is established, everyone is invited to offer a sacrifice of praise in Jerusalem (cf. Isa 2:2; Zec 14:16).
Serve the LORD With Gladness
When Christ reigns, this “psalm for thanksgiving” will be sung (Psa 100:1). This psalm for thanksgiving is sung when the LORD takes His rightful place as King over the earth. That it is called “a psalm for thanksgiving” indicates that it is sung at the time of the giving of the thank offering in the temple.
It is a call to ”shout joyfully to the LORD”, a call that concerns “all the earth”. All the inhabitants of the earth are called to share in the joy and worship of Israel (cf. Deu 32:43). The counterpart of this psalm of praise for us, believers of the New Testament dispensation, is found in Ephesians 1 and Revelation 5 (Eph 1:3; Rev 1:5b).
It is a privilege to come into God’s presence and serve Him there “with gladness” and “with joyful singing” (Psa 100:2). Serving is the service of worship and also the service of all of life. We may worship God and put our lives at His disposal. We may serve Him with all that we are and have. Because God’s people have failed to do so, God has sent enemies to them and imposed on them the iron yoke of slavery (Deu 28:47-48).
God’s people testify to all the earth “that the LORD Himself is God” (Psa 100:3). They acknowledge Him as their Creator, for “it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (cf. Isa 29:23; Isa 60:21). They did not come into being and become His people in their own strength. It is only His work. He created the people and made them His people (cf. Deu 32:6b). He is their Former (Isa 43:1; Isa 45:11).
God’s people also stand in a special relationship to Him, namely as sheep in relation to a shepherd. They are “His people and the sheep of His pasture”. God is not only their Creator, He is also their Shepherd. We see this in the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, Who as the good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep. He is not only their Creator but also their Savior (Mt 1:21). He brings them to “His pasture”, where He cares for them with all that is good for them (Psa 23:1-6). This verse is a confession of faith about Israel’s origin (cf. Psa 95:7a).
The LORD Is Good
In Psa 100:3 it is about Israel, but Psa 100:4 is addressed to all, including the nations. To Israel and all the nations is said to enter “His gates with thanksgiving”. “His gates” are the gates of Jerusalem. Of these the LORD says that He loves them more than all the dwellings of Jacob (Psa 87:2). He dwells in that city, for there is His dwelling place, the temple. All worshipers may bring their sacrifice “with praise” into “His courts”, which are the courts of the temple. So close to Him, so in His presence, it is not difficult to praise Him and praise His Name.
The occasion for thus coming to Him and praising Him are His goodness, His lovingkindness, and His faithfulness (Psa 100:5). Of all people, there is no one who does good, “there is not even one” (Rom 3:12b). Only “the LORD is good” (cf. Mk 10:18). He always has good in mind. Everything He does and everything He gives is good. Always He causes all things to work together for good to those “who love God” (Rom 8:28).
He is not good only every now and then. He is good and therefore “His lovingkindness is everlasting” (cf. Psa 136:1). His lovingkindness is not just lovingkindness as a feature, but lovingkindness that manifests itself in actions. Therefore, in Psalm 136, in each of the 26 verses of that psalm, God’s lovingkindness is linked to an act that demonstrates His lovingkindness. Forever here means during the realm of peace.
“Good” is not the same as “lovingkindness”. “Good” is the translation of the Hebrew word tov. “Lovingkindness” is the translation of the Hebrew word chesed. What the text is saying is that God’s lovingkindness is evidenced by His goodness. ‘Goodness no one can take away from God because that is what He is. ‘Lovingkindness’ can be lost (cf. Gen 24:27; Jer 16:5). Lovingkindness is based on the covenant. If Israel does not keep the covenant, it loses the lovingkindness of God. On the basis of the blood of the new covenant, God’s lovingkindness can remain forever (Jer 31:31-33; Mt 26:28), while He remains eternally what He always was: good.
In direct connection with His lovingkindness, which is everlasting, by which is meant here the realm of peace, “His faithfulness” is mentioned (cf. Exo 34:6-7; Psa 25:6-7). His faithfulness is “to all generations”. Each new generation born in the realm of peace may count on His faithfulness. We may also count on this for the time we live on earth, as well as the generations that come after us, until the moment the Lord Jesus comes to take up His church.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 100". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26