Known as “The Old One Hundredth,” this psalm is a call to worship and an invitation to praise the Lord. The psalm does not require a long explanation, but I should highlight its theme: what we know about the Lord should cause the response of worship.
To make that theme jump off the page, try reorganizing the psalm by reading the verses in this order: 3-5-1-2-4. This progression presents the reason for the praise first, then the response of praise.
Verse 3 presents the name of the Lord, Jehovah (whenever you see “LORD” in all capital letters in the Old Testament, it translates the proper name of God, “Jehovah,” also rendered “Yahweh;” this is the covenant-keeping God of Israel who is sovereign over all things and who sent His Son to redeem lost sinners). The Lord is the God who created us, and we are His people. He cares for us like a shepherd cares for his flock of sheep. He is personally involved in our lives as a protector and caregiver. What a reason to praise Him!
Verse 5 gives another reason: “the Lord is good.” The Hebrew word translated “good” can mean pleasant, excellent, kind, right, or delightful. God is all that! Of the many ways the Lord is “good,” the psalm closes with with two of the good-est. First is His “steadfast love” (or mercy), which never runs out, never fails, and never gives up. He has enough love to include every sinner, to cover every sin, and to comfort every hurt. He has enough love to overcome hatred, to overwhelm prejudice, and to overshadow doubts.
Second is His faithfulness. God can be depended on. You can trust Him. He never changes. He never checks out. He is always the same, always there, always listening, always loving, always in control. From generation to generation He is the loving, faithful God who is worthy of our praise. Hallelujah!
And the psalmist tells us how we can respond to those wonderful things about our Lord:
– Joyful shouts (v.1) — sometimes a whisper of praise is not enough. Sometimes your “inside voice” won’t cut it. Sometimes, when you realize how deeply God loves and how faithfully He cares, all that will express your praise is a spontaneous, straight-from-the-heart shout of praise. God receives that kind of response, so shout to the Lord!
– Happy service (v.2) — one of the best ways to respond to God’s goodness is to serve Him by meeting a need for one of the people He loves.
– Singing praise (v.2) — singing can express what nothing else can. No matter what anyone else thinks of your singing, you can be sure that God likes it and receives it as sweet praise.
– Giving thanks (v.4) — this is different from feeling thankful. It is putting those feelings into words, being specific about the things for which you are thankful.
– Blessing the Lord (v.4) — giving honor and glory to Him in whatever way you can.
Why not go through that list today and try praising the Lord in each of those ways? He deserves it!