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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae
Psalms 100

 

 

Verses 1-5

DISCOURSE: 666

GENTILES CALLED TO GLORIFY GOD

Psalms 100:1-5. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

IN discoursing upon short and insulated passages, we have scope for discussion upon whatever topic may come before us; but, in taking a whole psalm for our subject, we can do little more than mark the spirit of it, together with its general import. In truth, the psalm before us, which is entitled “A psalm of praise,” requires no particular discussion: it is merely a call to the whole world to render unto God the honour due unto his name. It is obviously addressed to the Gentiles, as much as to the Jews; and may therefore, as St. Paul informs us, be considered, not as an exhortation only, but as a prophecy, that, in due season, the Gentiles, even to the remotest ends of the earth, shall “see the salvation of God. [Note: Romans 15:9-11.]”

That we may present the contents of the psalm before you in an orderly way, we would observe that we have in it,

I. A call to delight ourselves in God—

[We, as Gentiles, are particularly invited to engage in this blessed work. Religion is not a source of melancholy, but of sacred and exalted joy. At the commencement of the year of Jubilee, the trumpets sounded throughout all the land of Israel; and the joy which they diffused no words are adequate to express. The man who, from whatever cause, had parted with his possessions, and sold himself for a slave, was restored to perfect liberty, and to the full enjoyment of his paternal inheritance. What a surprising change to be wrought in one moment! and with what exquisite delight would it be welcomed, by those who for days and months and years had been waiting for it! Such “a joyful noise should we make unto the Lord,” as persons liberated from the most cruel bondage, and invested with all the blessings of an eternal inheritance — — — “From all other lords that have had dominion over us,” we should now turn to serve the Lord, even that adorable Saviour who has made us free; yea, we should “serve him with a willing heart [Note: 1 Chronicles 28:9.],” “coming into his presence,” and walking constantly before him, as his redeemed people. Our sighs and tears should all be put away; and we should “sing unto the Lord a new song, as full of joy, for the marvellous things which he has done [Note: Psalms 98:1.].” I mean not to say, that there should be no times for humiliation and contrition; for such seasons will be needed, even to our dying hour. But the more abiding frame of our minds should be joy; as it is said, “Rejoice evermore:” “Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice.”]

We may next observe,

II. The grounds of this duty stated—

[The Lord whom we serve is no other than Jehovah, the only true God. Yes, though in his human nature he has died for us, in his divine nature he is the Most High over all, “God blessed for ever.” Prophets and Apostles bear ample testimony to this [Note: Isaiah 45:21-22. Romans 9:5.]: “Know it,” therefore; and let it be treasured up in your minds as a ground of unutterable joy — — — And, whilst you contemplate his excellency, remember especially your obligations to him: “It is He who hath made us, and not we ourselves.” As creatures merely, it is unnecessary to say we have not made ourselves. It is in reference to our new creation, as the people of God, that these words must be understood; and in this sense they contain a most important truth. We suppose that you are become the people of God, and the sheep of his pasture. But who sought you out in your wanderings? Who brought you home to the fold of Christ? Who feeds you yet daily in green pastures? Who protects you from all your enemies? Who is the one source of all that you enjoy? Can it in any measure be ascribed to yourselves? Have you wrought it by any power of your own? or have you merited that it should be wrought for you? No: “He that hath wrought you to this self-same thing is God: and he has done it, not for your righteousness sake, but for the glory of his own great name.” It is “He who has made you to differ” from those who are yet far off from him; and “you have nothing, which you have not received” as a free gift from him [Note: 1 Corinthians 4:7.].

Say, then, whether you have not reason to rejoice, and to “serve your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart [Note: Deuteronomy 28:47.].”]

As we proceed in the psalm, we find,

III. A further statement of our duty—

[Whilst we are filled with joy, our God must have the glory. We must wait upon him in his public ordinances, as well as in our private chambers; and must “enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: we must be thankful unto him, and from our inmost souls must bless his holy name.” Indeed, if we duly contemplate his character, and the wonderful things which, of his sovereign goodness, he has wrought for us, we shall find our minds constantly attuned to this holy exercise: methinks, our every feeling will be gratitude, and our every word be praise. This is the return which our God looks for at our hands: “Whoso offereth me praise, glorifieth me.” It is a better sacrifice than all the cattle upon a thousand hills [Note: Psalms 50:8-14; Psalms 50:23.]; and in the name of Jesus, our great Redeemer, we should be offering it continually, to the latest hour of our lives [Note: Hebrews 13:15.]. The inanimate and the brute creation praise their God: but we should bless him [Note: Psalms 145:10.].”]

We find also,

IV. Additional grounds for the performance of it—

[The perfections of our God will afford us matter for praise to all eternity. His goodness—who can contemplate it, and not be filled with the profoundest admiration and gratitude? It is seen, wherever we turn our eyes. But O! how is it seen in the gift of his only-begotten Son for a lost and perishing world! Well may we say, “What manner of love is this, wherewith the Father hath loved us!” Think of it, my Brethren: yea, dwell upon it day and night. It is not possible to have your minds too frequently or too intensely occupied with this mysterious subject.

His mercy, too—how inconceivable, both in its extent and duration! There is not a sinner in the universe to whom it will not reach, provided it be sought in God’s appointed way: nor shall it be withdrawn from any to whom, for Christ’s sake, it has been once imparted. Not but that God will punish sin: as he has said, “If his children forsake my Law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail; my covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips: for once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David [Note: Psalms 89:30-35.].”

What His mercy has vouchsafed to promise, His truth will assuredly fulfil: it shall endure, in its full extent, to all generations; nor shall “a jot or tittle of it ever fail.”

And now I ask, Is there not ground for praise and thanksgiving? Is it not rather a wonder that any who profess to be his people, can find time for any other employment?]

See, then, in this psalm,

1. What is the proper effect of religion upon the soul—

[Religion is supposed to generate gloom. But see it in the Psalmist’s own experience; and see it in all whom he here addresses. Is this gloom or melancholy? Is it not the very reverse? Doubtless, as far as we deviate from religion, we have need to weep and mourn: but, in proportion as we conform to it, and imbibe its spirit, it will fill us with unutterable joy. What is it that the glorified saints are now doing in heaven? Are they not beholding all the glory of their God and Saviour, and singing his praise for all the wondrous works which he has done? This, then, is religion in perfection: and the privilege of God’s people now is, to be assimilated to them, in mind, in spirit, in employment. Be aware of this, my beloved Brethren; and learn, not only to estimate religion aright, but to have it reigning in your hearts, and exemplified in your lives.]

2. How to attain it in perfection—

[It is not from ruminating on your own character, so much as from contemplating the character of your God and Saviour, that you are to attain this heavenly joy. Doubtless you must study well your own hearts; else you will be strangers to humility and contrition: but joy can flow only from the knowledge of your God, in all the perfections of his nature, and in all the wonders of his love. Behold then, with increasing earnestness, “the glory of your Lord, and you shall be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord.”]

 


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Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 100:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/psalms-100.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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