Main point summary
Worship he LORD with enthusiasm because he created us and loves us and will keep doing that for many generations.
In Tanzania this past fall, at an African Pentecostal church, this American Presbyterian found some serious discomfort. Not in the seating although it was basic plastic chairs. Not in the content which was largely in Swahili. It was not the prayers which were translated for us into English and showed terrific faith and trust in God. It was the enthusiasm with which they sang and danced for hours praising God and memorizing scripture to song. What do I do, how do I do it, and will I be that off key instrument that brings the whole thing crashing to a halt? I felt out of place and far from comfort praising God in this new context. It was perfect. Psalm100 is divided into two sections that each describe worship and end with motivation. It starts with shout praise, worship, enter, acknowledge because he made us and cares for us. The second section is enter gates, enter courts, give thanks and praise because he is good and faithful. Read together with all of the exclamation points, even in the stolid ESV, it points to worship style that considers dignity less than what is due the LORD. The first three verses are a call to universal worship. Not just any worship but worship fueled by gladness and singing. We do this because of our exceeding joy in being his people he created. We acknowledge his loving care with joyful service and our worship is (or should be) without reservation as is due the God who’s presence turned John into a quivering puddle. Verses 4 and 5 call us to cooperate worship and here is where my African friends showed me a better way. Half hearted worship is no worship at all and I am guilty of that on a regular basis. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and courts with praise! Where is the room for preoccupation with coffee and desire for a bit more sleep? We come and worship because good and not only cares for us as in verse 3 but loves us with steadfast endurance. Taken together this is a call for us to engage in corporate worship across the globe. I’ve had a taste of that in Africa and the Czech Republic this past year. It was terrific in all cases and I look forward to living out Psalm 100 in more places with more people this coming year, and maybe I will learn to worship God in a better less restrained way. If God is really our creator and sustainer then why wouldn’t we come before him with praise and worship that is worthy of his love and care for us? If God is really our LORD then why are we so slow to be in focused awe of him and his greatness? If God cares for us in gently strength then why are we so slow to fall before him in love? Why would we be so slow to come to him for thanks and praise of the highest order? I’ll be the first to admit cultural expectations that place order over enthusiasm are a limitation, it is after all my favorite excuse. M any of us have discarded joy in our savior for a cautious expression that lacks the joy we see here. Maybe our culture has it wrong, maybe our dignity and calm isn't as God honoring as shouting, singing and entering his presence with thanks and praise. Does it seem uncomfortable to really be enthusiastic? Maybe comfort is not the point. Worship the LORD with ENTHUSIASM and forget your dignity because we belong to him and he will be faithful to us for many generations.
Shout out praises to the Lord , all the earth!
Don't be shy, make a loud sound to the LORD everyone
Worship 1 the Lord with joy!
Acknowledge his greatness and worth with happiness
Enter his presence with joyful singing!
Come to him singing with the happiness that comes from seeing him for who he truly is
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
Admit his greatness is beyond all others
He made us and we belong to him; 2
because we are his handiwork and his possession
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
He created us to love us and he cares for us in loving attentiveness
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
Don't hold back, come into his room with thanks for all he has done for you
and his courts with praise!
into his house with praise for his greatness
Give him thanks!
Thank him in gratatude
Praise his name!
Praise the greatness of his name
For the Lord is good.
because he is the only truly good one
His loyal love endures, 3
and he will love us unendingly
and he is faithful through all generations. 4
and will stay that way as human existence comes and goes to many children's children
You don’t do this sluggish after eating too much on Thanksgiving.
Motivation for worship, we are his creation we are under his care, we are loved by him and that love will last well beyond our lifetime.
It seems like I am such a mediocre worshiper. It takes me a long time to get over the self-conscious and distracted mumbling and get truly love God in praise. How poorly do I really simply engage God as our creator and sustainer who loves us and takes care of our every need. What would it be like if I were to truly be able to let go and engage the greatness of God as his majesty deserves.
I see a poetic organization of statement - ground - statement - ground that makes sense. Still, bracketing this is nothing like a New Testament section that is a story or logical argument.
I chose a Psalm because I've noodled around with a few Psalms and I love that I grasp the depth of them when I slow down enough bracket them. This was particularly true of Psalm 23 but I'll save that for another lesson or use. I did this one because I wanted the challange of a new psalm and wanted to avoid the temptation of using something I've studied several times already.