Psalm 100 comes with a unique title attached to it that is rare to others. Most salutations in psalms are usually name- related, honoring people or identifying authors. The Hebrew designation or sub-heading of Psalm 100, on the other hand, consists of two simple and modest words “psalm” and “of thanksgiving,” or “a psalm of thanksgiving.” There are three truths about thanksgiving that we can learn from this Psalm. One, thanksgiving must be first and foremost given (Psalm 100:1-2).
The word thanksgiving or “yadhah” in the title, occurs 32 times in the Bible, 12 times in Psalms, and twice in this passage, including verse 4. We are called to express thanksgiving in a big way to God, not to hold back our praises and not to second-guess him. The three verbs in verses 1 and 2 are “shout for joy, “worship” and “come.” The Israelites were no strangers to this approach to worship, which was a significant and vital approach in the temple and even on the battlefield.
The first use of the word was when God instructed the sons of Aaron, the priests, to blow or sound the trumpets to gather the assembly (Num 10:7). Also, this is the same shouting the Israelites did on the road to victory when they encircled the city of Jericho that later came tumbling down (Josh 6:10). In verse 2, the psalmist claimed a glad spirit is necessary in worship. We must come into God’s presence abandoning and loosing and unfastening our spirit, reserve and voice, not thinking of our burdens but thinking of the Lord.
Two, thanksgiving must be fittingly and fully given (Psalm 100:3). The word “made” takes us all the way to creation.Two words stand out in the creation process –“creation” and “make.” The latter word is the subject of Psalms 100. Of all creation, man is the only creature made in His image and likeness. God did not make us for the fun of it. We are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. The world tells us that man is made for pleasure, freedom, society, companionship and work, and that our existence is a chance happening, a pointless existence and a lucky break but the Bible tells us that man is made for fellowship and communion and relationship with God. He is made for God alone.
Three, thanksgiving must be frequently and faithfully given (Psalm 100:4-5). The text did not say that the climate or our circumstances will not change, but that He is good and His love endures forever. The Hebrew word “good” occurs 69 times in Psalms alone. In thanksgiving the focus and recognition is not what the Lord gave us is good, but that He is good in essence. We praise the Supplier and not necessarily for his supplies, the Provider and Producer of all things and not merely for his provisions and products, the Benefactor but not because we are beneficiaries and we have benefits, blessings and breaks. God is the object of our affection because He is the most secure, steady and stubborn source of affection. It is not a marvel that you do not love Him; it is a miracle He loves us.
The uniqueness of the expression “his love endures forever” is that Psalm 100 is the first of all psalms to introduce this phrase even though David and Solomon used this phrase previously. In conclusion, psychologists, doctors and mental health experts can testify that a thankful attitude is the foundation of a healthy physical, emotional and mental well-being, and the groundwork for a good relationship and a civilized society. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present and all-wise, and He is deserving of our thanksgiving and praise. Mostly, thanksgiving is not a seasonal but a daily and consistent activity.