Daily Devotion – November 18, 2020 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison
100:1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
100:2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
100:3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
100:5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations
Psalm 100 is a familiar psalm to many Christians. Many well-known lines come from this short writing.
Let’s start at the top: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. All the earth. No matter who or what you are, make noise – people, trees, rocks, buildings, animals, everything raise noise in praise of God. What does that look like and feel like, we might wonder.
Well, the picture gets specific for humans: Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Worship can feel to some folks like a very solemn occasion, but the psalmist says there should be gladness in the solemnity. One can be solemn and still filled with gladness. Why gladness-filled? Because we belong to the Lord, and the Lord promises to belong to us! The Creator of the Universe is our master – we belong to no one else but the Lord. It is amazing! We are glad because of this very fact, and our gladness is uncontainable. It pours out from us into the world and onto other people. They should see us and know we are certainly happy about something. Is that the way people experience you and me? It would be good if they did. This is what the psalmist is urging us to be like. Here’s why.
The next verse: The Lord is God, he made us, and we are his, in the way sheep belong to the shepherd and get to live in his pasture.
If you love knowing you are secure and looked after and given abundant life, the next verse tells you what to do about it: be thankful everywhere you go, blessing God’s name. And why? Because the Lord is GOOD, and he will never abandon us – God keeps promises!
There are surely days we do not wish to be glad. There are days when it may feel impossible to act glad. That is more than OK. Re-read Psalm 100 and let just the tiniest portion of your heart, way down where it doesn’t even show to anyone, even ourselves, be glad. Just a spark of gladness hidden in a corner of the basement. Just let it be there. It will glow like a little nightlight in the darkness for when you are ready.
Psalm 100 is brief but glorious, because, even if we forget how good it is to be children of God due to daily circumstances, it reminds us what joy is ours and exactly how to be glad. Let us be glad. Our God is faithful!
Lord God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for being our God, for being faithful, for caring for us like a shepherd, and for making us heirs to your kingdom, now and forever. Amen.