Thanksgiving Eve Service
November 26, 1997
The Lord Is God and He Is Good
Psalm 100 is an excited, joyous invitation, universal in scope, which is extended to shout, worship, come, know, enter, give thanks, and praise; not as a duty but because God made us, shepherds us, is good, loving, and timelessly faithful. The only adequate response is acceptance of the invitation to give thanks and praise to God. In this psalm we are called to give thanks and told how and why we should do so. It is a call to worship which goes out to the whole world which ought to acknowledge the Lord for what he has done for his people.
I. Call to Give Thanks (vv. 1-2)
1 ¶ A psalm. For giving thanks. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
How do we give thanks?
Express with the voice - the sound of our existence.
Express with attitude - joy.
Express with altitude - toward God.
Express in unity - all peoples.
Expression is worship.
Expression is uplifting.
Expression is offering.
The nations must recognize who the Lord is. He is the One by whose grace and blessings his people exist. The nations are invited to sing hymns to the Lord and to worship him (Is. 56:6-7). It is a free offer. Submission to his rule comes out of a heart response of joy and gratitude for his covenant promises. The gladness reflects the joy in living in harmony with the Creator, Redeemer, and King. The sacrifices of joyful songs (Heb. 13:15) are proper as one approaches his presence (Is. 1:12).
Isa 56:6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant--
Isa 56:7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."
Heb 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-- the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Isa 1:12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?
II. Rationale for Thanksgiving: Celebration of the Covenant (v. 3)
3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Why do we give thanks?
God is greater than we are.
God created us.
God owns us.
God cares for us.
To know means to acknowledge or confess (Dt. 4:39; Is. 43:10). God is confessed as the covenant Lord, the only true God (1Ki. 18:39). They also confess their accountability to him (Dt. 32:6, 15; Is. 43:1, 21; 60:21) and their privileged position (Is. 41:11; Ez. 34:31). The lordship of God signifies benefits brought out by the shepherd imagery (Ps. 23:1-4; Lk. 15:3-6; Jn. 10:1-18).
De 4:39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.
Isa 43:10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
1Ki 18:39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD-- he is God! The LORD-- he is God!"
De 32:6 Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?
De 32:15 ¶ Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior.
Isa 43:1 ¶ But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Isa 43:21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
Isa 60:21 Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.
Isa 41:11 "All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.
Eze 34:31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"
Ps 23:1 ¶ A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
Ps 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
Ps 23:3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Ps 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Lu 15:3 Then Jesus told them this parable:
Lu 15:4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
Lu 15:5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders
Lu 15:6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'
Joh 10:1 ¶ "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.
Joh 10:3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Joh 10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
Joh 10:6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
Joh 10:7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.
Joh 10:8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
Joh 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
Joh 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Joh 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
Joh 10:13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
Joh 10:14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--
Joh 10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
Joh 10:17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-- only to take it up again.
Joh 10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
III. Call to Give Thanks (v. 4)
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
How do we give thanks?
We seek him where he is - thanksgiving opens the gate.
We seek him for who he is - praise gains us an audience.
We seek him for what he is - Almighty God (name).
The communal confession of verse 3 arouses another invocation to give thanks to the Lord. The worshipping community entered the temple courts through the gates. The word ‘enter’ is identical to the word ‘come’ in verse 2 and resumes the invocation to praise. We can see a parallel in the psalm to first ‘shout - worship - come’ and then in reverse order ‘enter - thank - praise’ with the word ‘know’ in the middle. To know God, we must shout praise, worship thankfully, and then come in to his presence. The benefits of knowing God in verse 3 lead to thanksgiving and praise for all the benefits. God is revealed in his perfections and acts of kindness.
IV. Rationale for Thanksgiving: Celebration of the Covenant (v. 5)
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Why do we give thanks?
God is good.
God is loving.
God is persistent.
God is faithful.
God is eternal.
God never changes - we are secure in God.
God remains faithful to his people because he has covenanted to do so (Ex. 34:6, 7, 10).
Ex 34:6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
Ex 34:7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."
Ex 34:10 ¶ Then the LORD said: "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you.