Christianity 201

December 16, 2013

What to Do and How to Do It

Psalm 100Psalm 100 – NIV

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.

Psalm 100 – The Voice Bible

Raise your voices;
make a beautiful noise to the Eternal, all the earth.
Serve the Eternal gladly;
enter into His presence singing songs of joy!

Know this: the Eternal One Himself is the True God.
He is the One who made us;
we have not made ourselves;
we are His people, like sheep grazing in His fields.

Go through His gates, giving thanks;
walk through His courts, giving praise.
Offer Him your gratitude and praise His holy name.

Because the Eternal is good,
His loyal love and mercy will never end,
and His truth will last throughout all generations.

One of the first extended passages of scripture I memorized as a child was Psalm 100 in the King James version: “Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord…”  No surprise really that two of the ministry ventures I started in my early 20’s used that phrase, a business named Joyful Noise Records, and a few years later a cable television show (48 episodes) called Joyful Noise.

Lately, I’ve discovered I still have those verses perfectly memorized, and a few weeks ago I was struck by the four “with” clauses that occur in the KJV and are retained in the NIV (above).

They include instruction to:

  • enter His presence (NIV=worship him)
  • go deeper into his temple (implied) courts (NLV=into the holy place)
  • serve the Lord
  • come into His presence

But the “with” part of each in the KJV tells us how this is to be done:

  • with thanksgiving
  • with praise
  • with gladness
  • with singing

This methodology of breaking down a Bible passage this way for study is often called Inductive Bible Study, and is often carried out by circling or underling repeated words and phrases.

Like Psalm 150, this particular song in scripture is often associated with music itself. The NLV has the first clause as “withing singing” and the last one “with praise.”

The message instructs us to:

Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence…

…Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.

The whole tenor of this psalm reminds me of something I wrote just a week ago as to how service should be done joyfully and cheerfully, not out of duty or forced obligation.

I want to encourage you today to pick a translation and memorize these short five verses as I did all those years ago. Secondly, I want to encourage all of us to make the attitude of this psalm our standard for the rest of the week. The psalmist clearly wants us not only to serve, praise, and enter deep into God’s presence; but to do so with joy and praise and thankfulness.