|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.
The setting for our second piece of music is found in Psalm 100. It’s an exultant piece that is both joyful and imperative. So often I have this subconscious urge to take Scriptures like this and act like they are a list of good suggestions to do when I feel like it or when I have time.
One thing that’s cool about this passage is that, just in case we forgot, it gives us some really good reasons to “make a joyfull noise, serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing, be thankful unto him and bless his name.”
“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting.”
This sentence alone is packed with two concepts so powerful, that if we at least partially grasp them, they alone give us good enough reason to want to sing when we are in God’s presence. God is goodness personified. Anything in this world that is good, all of the stuff that makes life worth it, exists because of God. Without Him none of it would be around.
God’s mercy, like everything else about Him, is everlasting. It’s nothing short of amazing that someone as perfect as God doesn’t just say, “Alright, Ryan, this is the last straw. You’re toast!” It’s because of His mercy that He doesn’t just destroy us and start over. How can Someone so just, so perfect, so far above everything, be so loving? It’s something we don’t understand, but it’s only one reason for us to praise Him.
Finally, “His truth endureth to all generations.” It’s something that kind of blows my mind when I think of the fact that God’s truth that existed when Noah was building his ark and when Abraham looking up at the stars, still exists today. Whether it’s a lot or a little, all of us morph somewhat as we go through life. Hopefully, as we go through life we embrace truth enough so we become more “right.” It’s tough sometimes to relate to Someone who never changes at all, but always has been and always will be right. We know that none of us have a monopoly on the truth, yet here is Someone who completely own the Truth. He’s Truth in person.
For all these reasons we are commanded to praise Him. Yesterday my brother Jared approached the cliche of “focusing on God” for our concerts. It seems like we often try hard to make much of Him when we are in concert so that He will make our concerts go well. We want something in exchange for our worship. “We’ll worship you, if you help us make some excellent and beautiful music so we can feel good about ourselves.”
It’s like we’re smart enough to know that if we completely deny Him in our concerts, we will certainly embarrass ourselves, so we come up with a compromise. We want to worship Him, but it’s more so He’ll give us a good concert, than because He’s a good God.
Sometimes I act like God should just be glad that I take the time to worship Him; like He’s the one who is privileged that I put aside MY busy schedule for His sake. I wonder if He ever has to decide whether to laugh at me or slap me instead.
Yesterday, Jared broke it down by reading a little bit from A.W. Tozer and Francis Chan. Why not worship God just because of who He is? As Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, He’s done all of this wonderful stuff. Let’s complement Him for it and simply revel in His awesomeness instead of trying to get something for ourselves from it. Believe me, the blessing will come automatically: in the form of Him filling you with Himself, and honestly, you’ll find nothing more fulfilling that that.