All those who have come to Christ in faith should take time this Thanksgiving to celebrate the victory we have in Christ by verbally recognizing His power in our lives to save and sanctify us. When Thanksgiving comes around, we truly have something to celebrate as Christians, because our God, the God of Israel, has won the victory through Jesus Christ. Shout to the Lord with joy and bless His name.
As we march toward the Thanksgiving holiday, we are considering Psalm 100, which is appropriate and fitting to study this month. What we see in this text is that the Lord has called us to thanksgiving, to give Him thanks, and to recognize who He is and how He has blessed us. In Psalm 100, there are five principles that are critical for us to understand as we reflect on God’s call in our lives here.
The first principle is the Proclamation of Thanksgiving, as we see in verses one and four of the Psalm.
Readers of this psalm will discover that this point is found in verses 1 and 4, then the next two points are in verses 2 and 4. The last two points then stand alone in verse 3 and verse 5. The reason for this is because this Psalm is structured in such a way that the first and last items in verses 1 through 4 are parallel, the second and sixth items are parallel, the third and fifth items are parallel again, and then the fourth item in verse 3 stands alone. This was a common way to write poetry in the Old Testament, and it was a helpful memorization pattern to learn the Psalms.
So, the first point, which is the proclamation of thanksgiving, is found in verses 1 and 4. Verse 1 reads, “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.” Verse 4, at the very end states: “bless His name.” These two commands are parallel and signify similar ideas.
The Psalmist begins with a call to shout to the Lord with joy! This word translated ‘shout joyfully’ was a word related to war and battle, and it was often a shout of victory. The Psalmist is exhorting people to celebrate the victory of God over His enemies. What is most fascinating about this verse is the people to whom the Psalmist calls to celebration. Notice he says, “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.” That last phrase, ‘all the earth,’ is especially noteworthy because it is a call to Jews and Gentiles alike. It is a call to all the nations to come and celebrate the victory of Israel’s God.