Posted March 10, 2014
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
This is the continuation of our journey memorizing Psalm 100. Just as with verses 1-3, the psalmist again calls for a response, immediately give us the cause for that response after.
Thanksgiving, Praise & Blessing
The psalmist paints for us temple imagery as he calls us to enter God’s gates with thanksgiving, and courts with praise. How are we to approach God? With thanksgiving and praise and blessing. Charles Spurgeon said, “So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. Mercy permits us to enter his gates; let us praise that mercy. What better subject for our thoughts in God's own house than the Lord of the house. And into his courts with praise. Into whatever court of the Lord you may enter, let your admission be the subject of praise: thanks be to God, the innermost court is now open to believers, and we enter into that which is within the veil; it is incumbent upon us that we acknowledge the high privilege by our songs. Be thankful unto him. Let the praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue, and let it all be for him to whom it all belongs. And bless his name. He blessed you, bless him in return; bless his name, his character, his person. Whatever he does, be sure that you bless him for it; bless him when he takes away as well as when he gives; bless him as long as you live, under all circumstances; bless him in all his attributes, from whatever point of view you consider him.”
Goodness, Love, & Faithfulness
Does the thought of thanksgiving and genuine praise seems like a foreign language to your tongue? Perhaps your heart simply feels numb, apathetic, or asleep. Regardless of the season of life you are in, the psalmist points us to three rock solid attributes of God. May these truths stir our hearts in gratitude, praise and blessing!
The goodness of God
In his classic book, “The Knowledge of the Holy,” AW Tozer defines the goodness of God as “that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all things moral is open, frank, and friendly… The goodness of God is the drive behind all the blessings He daily bestows on us.”
The love of God
In 1 John 4, we learn that God is love. This is a commonly misunderstood phrase, often commandeered by those wanting to make God out to be whatever their definition of love happens to be. Biblical love is not defined by man or culture, but rather by God Himself. It’s never defined to the exclusion of any of His other attributes like His justice or wrath. God’s love is less of a “do whatever makes you happy” love, but rather a love marked by deep holiness and concern for His glory and our ultimate good! JI Packer defines God’s love in “Knowing God” as “an exercise of his goodness toward individual sinners whereby, having identified himself with their welfare, he has given his Son to be their Savior, and now brings them to know and enjoy him in a covenant relation.”
The faithfulness of God
Not only is God good and loving, but He’s faithful. If God were not faithful to us, we would be uncertain of our future with Him. However, because God has revealed Himself to be faithful, we can trust that not only is the covenant made through His Son unbreakable, it is eternal; it cannot be broken! Tozer commented, “The tempted, the anxious, the fearful, the discouraged may all find new hope and good cheer in the knowledge that our Heavenly Father is faithful. He will ever be true to His pledged word.”
And for these truths holding us steadily, we give thanks and praise!
Song by Ryan Gikas.
Production by Dustin Ragland.
Artwork by Matt Shelton (of Brilliance Creative).