- A psalm used in the temple to accompany sacrifices of praise.
- Similar Psalms: 47; 93; 95-99.Celebrating God’s kingship, sovereignty, majesty, etc.
- “God is not merely Creator and Ruler of the world. He is also Founder, Guardian, Lord, and Shepherd of His Church. His people should exhibit their sense of this relation, and especially give it expression in public worship, in order that all the world may discover that this God is the only God, to adore whom, men of all lands should unite with the Church.” – John Peter Lange et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Psalms (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 515.
- “We have here, 1. A strong invitation to worship God; not that God needs us, or any thing we have or can do, but it is his will that we should serve the Lord, should devote ourselves to his service and employ ourselves in it; and that we should not only serve him in all instances of obedience to his law, but that we should come before his presence in the ordinances which he has appointed and in which he has promised to manifest himself (v. 2), that we should enter into his gates and into his courts (v. 4), that we should attend upon him among his servants, and keep there where he keeps court. In all acts of religious worship, whether in secret or in our families, we come into God’s presence, and serve him; but it is in public worship especially that we enter into his gates and into his courts. The people were not permitted to enter into the holy place; there the priests only went in to minister. But let the people be thankful for their place in the courts of God’s house, to which they were admitted and where they gave their attendance.” – Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 887.
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
- This psalm was sung as people approached and entered into the temple for worship. See verse 4a.
- “Make a joyful noise” – One word in Hebrew which means “raise the noise”, or “to shout”. We might say, “sing loudly”.
- “to the Lord” – God’s creation wasn’t meant to celebrate haphazardly, but to celebrate with one focus. Our celebration should be directed to The Lord. APP: It is often most easiest to celebrate when you’re in the presence of that which you wish to celebrate. Consider watching football on TV vs going to watch one in person.
- “all the earth” – An all inclusive call. “All y’all” or “everybody up in here”. Maybe not now, but one day it will be. APP: Consider this your invitation to join in this choir.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing
- In this psalm, verses 2 and 4 mirror one another, as do verses 3 and 5.
- “Serve” – meaning to work, to serve, be enslaved to, to worship. See Joshua 24.15. Worship fits this context best.
- “his presence” – specifically the temple. Where God had established a place representative of his presence and whereby His people might fulfill their rituals of worship.
- “gladness” – APP: In general, Christians aught to be happy people.
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
- “Know” – “recognize” or “confess”. From facts and outward and inward experience. Some suggest, “Say ‘Yes’ in your heart” or “Put this word in your mouth”. You cannot have thankful worship without personal knowledge of God. Otherwise, you don’t know the object you worship. “Knowledge is the mother of devotion and of all obedience…” – M. Henry
- “the Lord, he is God” – The god we worship is called Yahweh or Yahweh is the one true God. “the only living and true God—that he is a Being infinitely perfect, self-existent, and self-sufficient, and the fountain of all being; he is God, and not a man as we are. He is an eternal Spirit, incomprehensible and independent, the first cause and last end” – Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 887.
- “made us” – 2 thoughts: 1) created us, 2) made us become who we are. God has moved us in a new direction and guided us in becoming something different than we would’ve been.
- “we are his” – Not because of our internal merit, but because of his grace (Eph. 2:8-9) and purpose ( 2 Tim. 1:9). We belong to Him. We are his possession. This brings purpose and security.
- “the sheep of his pasture” – we follow Him. The brings purpose and obedience.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
- “gates” – as in gates of the temple; perhaps city gates.
- “thanksgiving” – Believers should be thankful, especially at church.
- “courts” – definitely a inner temple reference.
- “his gates…his courts” – God doesn’t come to church to be in your presence, we come to church to be in His.
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
- “For” A purpose clause…Why should we worship in this manner? Note the permanence of God’s character.
- THEO: God does not change. He has been faithful, His is faithful, He will be faithful. I can trust my future to Him, I can trust my children’s and grandchildren’s future to Him.
- “There is nothing to be found under the sun, which can make the heart more joyful than sincere religion.—If God’s mercy and truth are eternal, they remain still with us now, and we and our descendants until the end of the world will have them for our consolation.” – John Peter Lange et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Psalms (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 516.