Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Learning About God and Us

Psalm 100
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[a];
    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.

It's amazing what we can learn about God by reading the psalms.  Even more amazing are the things we can learn about ourselves.  You can start the learning journey by reading the psalm again, this time try reading it aloud. 

The admonition of the beginning of this psalm is one of addressing God through worship.  In the first couple of verses we learn our worship is associated with shouts of joy, and the gladness of worship. I try to visualize how that would look in our worship assemblies today.  For the most part, there is nothing resembling a shout, and I can only make this assessment by looking into the faces of worshipers, but not many people show gladness.  Those who lead us in singing will sometimes tell us they notice many in the crowd not singing, and the ones that don't sing usually frown.  (I tried to warn you that we would learn some things about ourselves.)  Go back and read verses 1 and 2 again and think about you becoming that kind of worship participant. 

Then we start learning about God.  You might wish to take note the psalmist wants you to KNOW that the Lord is God.  That is the basic start of what you can learn about God.  Then the list starts:  He is the one that made us, and we belong to him.  We are his by virtue of creation and we a likened to being the sheep of his pasture.  You may not easily identify with being sheep, but that identification takes on a blessed meaning when we bring in another psalm which lets us know "The Lord is my Shepherd."  Just the comforting words which describe his love and care and provision for us makes us want to be in his flock. 

We are further blessed to come into God's presence with thanksgiving and praise, giving thanks to him and praising his name.  I ask again, now that we know what God has prepared for us and is expecting from us, can we come to learn the experience of entering his courts with praise, with thanksgiving in our hearts?

And do not overlook verse 5.  The psalmist leaves us with assuring words of God's love and God's faithfulness.  Every one of God's children has that promise of a love that endures forever and a faithfulness that keeps on going through all generations.


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