OBSERVATIONS: The superscription of this Psalm is, "A psalm. For giving grateful praise." Therefore, the reader already knows that an attitude of gratitude is pointing the way to God.
There are 7 commands for the reader: shout (v1.), worship and come (v2), know (v3), enter, give thanks and praise (v4) - all centered around worship of Yahweh.
The whole earth is welcomed into this worship (v.1.) This is followed by the reason for all this worship - because "the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (v.5)."
Verse 3 recalls the royal shepherd image.
The congregation is summoned to worship and specifically to come before God and enter his temple for the purpose of offering thanksgiving and praise. We can imagine joining the congregation and entering the temple procession.
NOTES: "Shout for joy to the Lord," the Apostle Paul in Col.2.15 says that Jesus triumphed over the 'powers and [spiritual] authorities' and made a public spectacle of them by the cross. Jesus, by his work on the cross, won the ultimate victory over evil and death. God is more than worthy of all our thanks and praise. Every word of worship rightly, belongs to God.
Interestingly, this Psalm is used in Jewish worship in the daily morning service, as well as being used as a canticle in morning prayer in our own Book of Alternative Services (p. 49).
APPLICATION: Thanking and praising God is easy if you're in a good mood, or when things are going well. When you are dealing with anxiety and depression it takes real effort. When things are going horribly wrong it is a real sacrifice to thank and praise God. Yet, it is that very sacrifice that brings peace and opens the gates to his presence. A sweet aroma, a costly sacrifice "for the Lord is good and his love endures forever". Amen.
SONG: Hezekiah Walker - "Every Praise"
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.