We Are His People

Psalm 100

“…if we are to be and to do for others what God means us to be and to do, we must not let Adoration and Worship slip into second place: “For it is the central service asked by God of human souls; and its neglect is responsible for much lack of spiritual depth and power.” Evelyn Underhill Perhaps we may find here the reason why we so often run dry. We do not give time enough to what makes for depth, and so we are shallow; a wind, quite a little wind, can ruffle our surface; a little hot sun, and all the moisture in us evaporates. It should not be so.” –Amy Carmichael in “Edges of His Ways”

This psalm brings us right into the Most Holy Place – his presence (2), his gates (4a), his courts (4b). Instructed what we are to do in his presence. And given plentiful reasons why we should do this. Side note: normal, healthy Christian should be like normal, healthy baby – devoted to parents, desire to learn, insatiable appetite. That’s why Peter says: 1 Pet. 2:2 “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation.”

To guide worship experience psalmist gives seven (complete biblical number) imperatives – commands, things we are to do in connection with worship; intersperses six motivations – things that should move our hearts and minds to attitude and expression of worship and praise. And there is really one point to the whole psalm: we are God’s people.

A. Seven imperatives

Shout joyfully (1)

shout of triumph, celebration, a glad shout when the king appears – was worshiped this way, at his Triumphal Entry…to dismay of religious leaders

must not forget that Christ is present when his people gather together – Matt. 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

if Christ is king over all the earth, then should be worshiped and praised by people from every nation and language – in other words, all families of the earth who have been blessed by the Seed of Abraham

Serve gladly (2a)

more to worship than what comes out our mouths – true worship includes obedient action: genuine love for Christ expressed by obedience, see John 14:15

Lord Jesus a Master like no other – Matt. 11:28-30; gentle, humble, bearing the lion’s share of the load to make it light for the one who shares the yoke; the only one who supplies genuine rest for the soul

everything he expects of us is for our good, he supplies all we need to be successful in obedience, offers a benefit package no other master can match

Come melodiously (2b)

grumbling or grudging worship doesn’t count as “joyful singing” – I’ll go, I’ll sing and listen and pray but I don’t really feel like it — did you ever say that when you were dating?

since it is God himself we meet in worship, should come with excitement and anticipation for blessings to come, joy for blessings received

Know the truth (3)

this is where our charismatic brethren miss some of the blessing – mind must be engaged along with emotion; healthy relationships involve both understanding and feeling, true of relationship with God also

ought to know the one we come to worship and why we worship him; God is knowable, his truth also can be known

saints fall at every point along the spectrum – from infant to seasoned senior citizen; wherever we are in our knowledge of God and his truth, should have a thirst for more

desire for knowledge of God and truth must have right purpose – to be able to love him more fully and worship him as he deserves

the better we know someone, more effectively we can please them; if we love and want to please, will want to know them better – one feeds the other

Enter worshipfully (4a)

may be children but…God is still God the King; must come to him with due regard for his majesty and authority; can count on him to be gracious but not indulgent

Be thankful (4b)

So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. CHS

even if God were to take away all he could, should still be thankful – think about what he can’t take away: himself, his love grace mercy, our adoption, our inheritance

Praise Him (4c)

give God his due – recognize and affirm God for who he is – bless his name: praise and glorify God

magnify him, present him larger and more glorious to others; give expression to love and adoration, thanksgiving

it’s ok to run out of words to express what we want to communicate and to say that: Lord, you are greater, more awesome…..than I can describe

B. Six motivations

he is God (3a)

Jehovah is God in the fullest, most absolute, and most exclusive sense, he is God alone. CHS

Yahweh, the self-existent covenant keeping God is the true God, God over all other Gods; in other words, our God is the only God

not “our God” in superior way, looking down on others who are really clueless; “our God”, the one who of his own free will and for his own glory according to his purpose made us his people

he made us (3b)

too many think of themselves as “self-made men” and worship their creator – perhaps more of a problem in independent US than elsewhere

when we consider his heavens, the work of his fingers, the moon and the stars which he ordained, how can we not stand in awe and ask: “what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psa. 8:3-4

we belong to him (3c)

God takes good care of what belongs to him, is dependent on him – remember what Jesus said about shepherd and sheep

shepherd is constantly vigilant, sensitive to needs of sheep, providing for them what they cannot for themselves because sheep belong to the shepherd

he is good (5a)

“good” is a big word, requires large praise – God is good and he does good; not good/better/best but good to which nothing can be added to make it better

“He is originally good, good of Himself, which nothing else is; for all creatures are good only by participation and communication from God. He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him.” (Thos. Manton).

he is loyal (5b)

not like Eliphaz’ god – distant and formulaic; God is loyal, merciful: Ps. 103:14For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”

God’s loyal love never ends in this life or the next; once God has set his love on someone, he never withdraws it

small side note: our awareness of God’s love, sense of his presence and tender care may wax and wane but….that is function of our perception and relationship, not the nature of his loyal love

he is faithful (5c)

is his faithfulness, steadfastness that gives believer hope for future; for God to be unfaithful is to act contrary to his nature

need an example? remember the rainbow, the annual change of seasons that God promised would not fail so long as the earth continues to exist (Gen. 8:22)

Lam. 3:22-23Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”

the author wrote those lines through tears, weeping, lamenting over God’s punishment on Jerusalem – even the temple itself plundered and then destroyed by God’s agents the Babylonians

C. One point

we are His people (3c)

word (his people) is focal point of psalm – exact center; emphasis not: his possessions, his employees, his servants

“the unique emphasis of ‘am lies in its reference to a group of “people as viewed by one of themselves” TWOT

God makes reference to his people from the perspective of one of them – God is God and God is one of us….in the Lord Jesus; adds level of understanding and intimacy to relationship

Jesus elaborates on shepherd / sheep motif: John 10:1-16 shepherd calls sheep by name, leads sheep, lays down his life for the sheep (2x), knows his own, brings all his sheep into the fold; his sheep know his voice, follow him, run from a stranger, are members of one flock with one shepherd. When Jesus says “I know my own”, when he shepherds his flock he does so understanding what it’s like to be a sheep.

Heb. 4:15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

We have a faithful God who is our shepherd. There’s no good reason for being shallow Christians. Let’s make sure Adoration and Worship have their proper place in our lives, confident that our Good Shepherd will provide for our every physical, emotional, spiritual need from his inexhaustible supply.

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