pixabay.comPsalm 100 is a short Psalm consisting of only five verses. it reads as follows, “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” (Psalm 100:1-5, KJV, Tyndale 1987). for this study, I want to expound upon verse 4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

“Raymond Edman was a missionary, a college president, an educator, and an author. Edman served as chancellor of Wheaton College for many years. He died in 1967 while preaching the chapel service at Wheaton. And his topic was worship. That morning, Dr. Edman shared with his listeners a personal anecdote. It involved his meeting with the king of Ethiopia some years earlier. To have an audience with the king, he observed strict protocol. If he didn’t meet and follow through on each criterion, he wouldn’t be judged worthy of coming into this king’s presence. Dr. Edman then drew a parallel with attending weekday chapel services at Wheaton. “You have an audience with the King of Kings,” he said. The ruler of Ethiopia or any other nation would fall on his face and cast his crown in the presence of the Almighty” (Ezell, Rick, Sermon: The Protocol of Worship – Psalm 100, https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/sermon-protocol-of-worship-psalm-100, Jan 1, 2014).

verse 4 explicitly mentions his gates and his courts. the Pulpit Commentary suggests these references point to temple worship. others feel it is more of a symbolic reference that extends to all faithful people and places of worship. either meaning that we choose to use in this instance leads us into the presence of God. under the Law and the Old Covenant, the temple had gates and courtyards that everyone could visit, but only the High Priest was allowed into the presence of God. the Psalms encourage those going to the temple to approach the occasion with the right attitude, thanksgiving, and praise. today, the appearance of adhering to the Law cannot be counterfeited. the omnipresent Spirit of the Lord compasses us and fills us. the Old Covenant ended with the veil of the temple rent, and now the Christian is the living, breathing temple of the Holy Ghost with the Law written on our hearts. today, entering his gates and his courts is less of a physical destination and more of a way of life. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

walking around, every day as the temple of God, the dwelling place of the presence of God, Psalm 100:4 bids us adopt a lifestyle becoming of a Christ-follower. it mentions two things when entering into the presence of the Lord: thanksgiving and praise. it does say that we should also be thankful unto him and bless his name, but these elements are separated but a colon. A colon introduces a piece or series of pieces that illustrate or amplify the information that preceded the colon. so we will be focusing on thanksgiving and praise. i want to take a closer look at these two areas and help to shed some light on appropriate attitudes to adapt to this life.
according to Strong’s concordance, the word thanksgiving in Psalm 100:4 means an extension of the hand (8426), referring to extending hands in worship. our thanksgiving should become a part of who we are, beyond what we would consider normal. Merriam-Webster defines thanksgiving as a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness, the act of giving thanks, or a prayer expressing gratitude. in writing to Timothy, Paul says, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4). the KJV Dictionary (av1611.com) explains this instance of thanksgiving as “A public celebration of divine goodness, especially to acknowledge the goodness of God, either in any remarkable deliverance from calamities or danger, or in the ordinary dispensation of his bounties.”

in the Bible, several Greek and Hebrew words are translated “thanks” and “thanksgiving,” but here are the big two. in Hebrew, worship is Judah and comes from ydh (yad). yad is used mainly in the Old Testament and appears in various forms 102 times in the Old Testament, and this word is used 72 times. in 1 Chronicles 16:34, the writer pens, “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” this statement acknowledges what is right about God and thanks Him for it.
the Greek word used in the New Testament is eucharisteo, and it is used 71 times in the New Testament. it means to show oneself grateful, be thankful, and give thanks. some also associate a derivative of this word with the sacrament and Jesus giving thanks before breaking bread and sharing the cup that would represent His body and blood given for the New Covenant (Kranz, Jeffrey, What “thanksgiving” means in the Bible, https://overviewbible.com/thanksgiving-definition-bible/, Nov 18, 2016).
Faithlife.com suggests, “Thanks means nothing until we give back to God the gratitude due to Him and to others, He has brought into our lives. Offer thanks by singing to and about Him, praying to Him, giving all you have to Him, including your talents, abilities, possessions, finances, and opportunities. Be sure to share testimony about His great work of salvation and restoration of your life in Christ Jesus” (Terry Laughlin, Biblical Expressions of Thanksgiving, https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/125591-biblical-expressions-of-thanksgiving).

some references from the scriptures are as follows:
· 1 Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
· Psalm 50:14 Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
· Psalm 92:1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:
· Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
· Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
· Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

in today’s society, it is so easy to see the negative, and complaining comes easier than complimenting. it is so important to practice gratitude and thanksgiving. i believe it is a virtue that we can improve within ourselves daily. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” if we allow our expression of gratitude to wane, it becomes harder to be generous. we look to take credit for the blessings in our life. our motives turn selfish, and we become isolated with our thoughts of mundane glory. thanksgiving gives the glory back to God, where it belongs!

to be continued.

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