Monday Encouragement

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!”–Psalm 100:1
My Dear Ones in the Lord Jesus Christ,
Next to Psalm 23, Psalm 100 may be one of the more well-known chapters in the Psalter.  Its five simple verses are easy to memorize, and perhaps you have already committed them to memory.  We typically recall the first line, verse 1, when we sing in worship together.  There are many among us who are blessed with the ability to sing, to hit the right notes at the right time, and to make the music of corporate worship a little like heaven. Then there are the rest of us who, like me, just sound out that “joyful noise” the best we can.
But what if I told you that this first line in the Psalm really isn’t about those who can’t sing, or is even depicting the gathered community of believers in worship at all.   It’s much, much bigger than this!
The New American Standard translation reads this way: “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.”  The single Hebrew word rendered “shout” in the NASB, and “make a joyful noise” in the English Standard Version, is an “homage-shout” one would make “to a king” (Derek Kidner, Psalms 73-150, p. 388).    The same word appears earlier in Psalm 98:4.  And notice that in both cases it is addressed to “all the earth.”
What’s really going on here is that the unnamed author of this Psalm is claiming the whole world for the Lord God!  The entire “earth” is brought under the Divine command to acknowledge the Kingship of Yahweh!  This theme appears with remarkable frequency in the Psalms.  Let me give you but a few examples:
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (24:1).
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” (33:8).
For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth” (47:2).
Shout for joy to God, all the earth” (66:1).
O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord” (68:32).
Praise the Lord from the earth” (148:7).
It is only beginning with verse 2 that the focus of the Psalm turns specifically to those whom the Lord has redeemed, forgiven, and clothed with garments of salvation, and invited into the very Holy of Holies: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!” (v. 4).
So what does all of this mean?
In the first place, as we come to another Monday and the beginning of a new week, we find blessed encouragement in the fact that our Lord does indeed reign over “all the earth!”  This is always a wonderful thing to be reminded of as we awaken and start off on another day of life and work in ‘the city of man.’  Our God has complete sovereignty over every square inch of the world, and the whole universe!  All of creation is subject to His reign, and all people everywhere are accountable to Him and  are under the authority of His Word!   And eventually, all of creation, including every person who has ever lived, believer and unbeliever alike, will verbally acknowledge His reign though His Eternal Son.  As Paul puts it:
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
What could be more comforting to us than knowing this!
But there is another most encouraging aspect of this Psalm as well!
Those who have tasted of Yahweh’s infinite mercy and kindness in the Lord Jesus Christ are now liberated to live in this world with joy, peace, and perfect security.  If our God does reign over all creation, then we who belong to Him could not be more blessed nor secure, even in a world that is aflame in rebellion against Him.
This is why the psalmist reminds us that we, His beloved, are “His people, and the sheep of His pasture” (v. 3).  It is we, those saved by the blood and righteousness of the Son, who are able to come with thanksgiving into His presence (v. 4), knowing that, “the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations” (v. 5).
The One who rules all creation is the very One whose love, faithfulness, and grace always flows endlessly down from heaven into our lives here on this earth.  Our Savior is the King!  We are His beloved “sheep”!  In this world, which is ever under His command (even when it seems most chaotic), we are watched over with His eternal eyes and ever-attentive ears, and always embraced with His heart of infinite and unrelenting love!  He is “good” (v. 5) to us every second, every day, always and forever!
Let these words encourage you today!  Meditate upon your Lord’s Kingship.  Remember His persistent goodness to you who are His most loved “sheep.”  Trust fully in His “steadfast love” and perfect “faithfulness.”  And as you go about your day today, sing His praises, even if you can only make a little noise!
I love you all with all my heart!