Continuing our look at Psalms 100, we note the second and third ways to praise God in this wonderful “psalm of praise.”
Psalm 100:1A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 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. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Second, “Serve the LORD with gladness” (Psa_100:2). Many in modern church ministry think “praise and worship” is reserved for the church building and is comprised of singing and other “religious” exercises. The psalmist tells us, however, that praising God is extremely practical. Serve is ‘āḇaḏ (H5647), a verb that appears almost 300 times, the first of which is in Gen_2:5 (“till”) and 15 (“dress”), where God gives Adam the task of taking care of the garden. It is found repeatedly, then, to portray labor on one’s own behalf (e.g., Gen_4:2; Isa_19:9) or for another person (e.g., Gen_29:15; Exo_1:14).
This tells us something astounding: We can praise God no matter what we are doing. That is precisely what Paul meant when he wrote, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1Co_10:31). Dear Christian, do you dedicate each day’s activities to God? Do you do everything with the attitude that you are praising Him in it? Does the outcome of all your labor give praise and glory to Him? Do you take “gladness” in it (śimchāh, H8057, “joy, rejoicing, pleasure,” July 20)?
Third, “Come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2). Singing is renānāh (H7445), which appears only three other times (Psa_63:5, “joyful”; Job_3:7, “joyful”; Job_20:5, “triumphing”) and literally means “cry of joy.” It is derived from the verb rānan (H7442), “to sing or shout joyfully.” As one might expect, half of its some sixty occurrences are in the Psalms, but another fourteen are in Isaiah. What do we have to sing about? We “rejoice in [our] salvation” (Psa_20:5), “sing aloud of [God’s] mercy” (Psa_59:16), rejoice in His “help” (Psa_63:7), “sing” about His righteous judgment and government (Psa_67:4), and much more.
As Paul declares, there is nothing more indicative of the Spirit-filled life than the expression of song (Eph_5:18-19). Despite popular teaching, music must not be the foundation of church ministry or even the major emphasis. It’s not even mentioned, in fact, in Act_2:42, which lists the activities of the early church; the primary emphasis was doctrine. Singing (not just instrumental music but singing) is important, however, for its purpose is to be a restatement of doctrine. Oh, that we would seek depth in our church music!
Scriptures for Study: What do we have to sing about in Pro_29:6? What is the object of our singing in Isa_24:14?