"The Gladness of His Heart"
Psalm 100 - Part 1
During the first four years of my elementary school days, I heard the 100th Psalm recited over the intercom every morning. Such things happened in public schools back then, and the memory elicits warm memories and gratitude. Of course, I'm not sure how closely I listened to the recitation each day. I didn't become a believer until nearly a decade after leaving Woodcock Elementary. However, I have no doubt that the reading spiritually impacted my heart. The 100th Psalm remains one of my favorite portions of Scripture, and now on the other side of my lifetime, I have started reading it again every morning.
Over the next five days, we will consider each verse of this brief poem of joy, service, song, praise, thanksgiving, commitment, and spiritual awareness. We begin with the Psalmist's call to universal joy - "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands."
The command to rejoice in the Lord involves the entire world - "all ye lands." This has yet to be fulfilled in its entirety, although God has His people everywhere, It would would not be surprising to discover "a joyful noise" daily resounds in every nation from some or many trusting hearts. We look forward to the time when praise and thanksgiving fills the earth, and when "the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:11).
God made our hearts for joy, and for our expressing it. He exists as the most joyous of beings, a perception that must guide our doctrinal understanding of the Lord. David declared God to be "my exceeding joy" (Psalm 43:4). This could not be possible if God were not exceedingly joyful. Thus, He made our hearts to know the gladness of His heart. He also gave us voices to express the joy we find in Him. Do we view our Lord in this way? We must in order to know Him rightly. Certainly the Bible teaches that God can be sorrowful, grieved, and angry. Creation in its present condition often sorely displeases the heart of God (Psalm 2:5). However, joy constitutes His primary disposition and emotional state. We shall perfectly know this in eternity to come, and we must increasingly know this in our present existence.
Our own joy depends to a large degree on perceiving our Lord's joy. Our awareness of His disposition governs the atmosphere of our hearts. "Let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee" (Psalm 5:11). One day, all the redeemed nations of the world will know this. Joy will ensue, and the Psalmist's plea for a "joyful noise unto the Lord" will resound in "all ye lands." For now, we seek to personally know, assimilate, and express our Heavenly Father's primary disposition of a glad heart.
"The joy of the Lord is your strength."
Weekly Memory Verse
For the law was given by Moss, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.