Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
In addition to being Holy Scripture, the Psalms are a book of songs. Many are thought to have been composed by King David, who played the harp. Yet regardless of who originally composed them, musicians have set the Psalms to music many times, in many different musical genres.
Psalm 100 inspired one of the most famous hymns in all Christendom, “All People That On Earth Do Dwell”. The fact that Psalm 100 inspired this great hymn is reinforced by the name of the tune, “Old Hundredth”, although it is also known as “The Doxology”.
The Psalm seems very appropriate for this time of year, when foliage is greener, and days are getting longer and warmer. In the same way that plants are bursting forth with growth, so this Psalm is bursting forth with shouts of joy, and praise, and thanksgiving.
The Psalmist issues statements as commands: ‘Shout to the Lord, all the earth.’ There is no wishy-washy here. No weasel words or phrases like, “If you feel like it, shout to the Lord.” No! The Psalm is a reminder that the Lord would have us praise Him at all times, in all places. Sometimes we may not feel like we have much praise in us. However, I believe that by following God’s instruction, we will begin to feel that praise bubble up from within us.
This Psalm also gives us reasons for our praise: God is good. His faithfulness endures for generations. God made us. We belong to Him. He watches over us like a shepherd watches over His sheep. These are all comforting and reassuring thoughts.
Today, like every day, we need to put the words of the Psalm into practice. We need to seek out the feelings which go with praise, and draw them inward. Then they can change from mere words into true feelings. Today, find time to praise God. Shout to Him with thanksgiving. God hears all our prayers, whether we are asking for help, or offering up praise. Go ahead and shout praises to the Lord! God will hear your heart!
God of joyful praise,
May we always be ready to sing your praises, for You created us. We are thankful for Your goodness, and Your faithfulness. With joy in our hearts, we join the chorus of praise, arising from all the earth: You are our God, and we will praise You forever! May we never cease praising You. We pray this prayer in the name of Your son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.