Tom Lowe

Psalm 100

(A psalm of David, A Psalm of praise, the seventh of the “royal psalms” 93, 95-100)

Title: A Psalm of Praise.

Theme: (Threefold) (1) the Lord conceived of as one, the clearly implied belief in monotheism; (2) the Lord as creator of His people, who accordingly belong to Him; and (3) the Lord as the Shepherd of His people, who provides pasture for them.

Psalm 100 (KJV)

1 {A Psalm of praise.} Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.


The title of this psalm reads, “A Psalm of praise.” It was used in the second temple in connection with the sacrifices of thanksgiving.  The thanksgiving offering was the “peace” offering.  It was offered in gratitude for special mercies received from the Lord.  In giving us the various laws of the offerings in Leviticus, the Holy Spirit places this offering last (Leviticus 7:11-34).  This is probably because true expressions of thanksgiving flow from an appreciation of all that God has done in Christ.  Not until we are done with our sins and ourselves can we truly worship as we should.

In Colossians 3:16-25, we are instructed to be filled with the Word of God, and when we are, we will be joyful (3:16), thankful (3:17), and submissive (3:20-25).  These three characteristics of the believer controlled by God’s Spirit and God’s Word—and they go together—are presented in this wonderful psalm of thanksgiving.

The psalm concludes the theocratic and coronation psalms which have been sounding one note of joy after another for the anticipated advent of the Messiah as King.  Hence the psalm is prophetic and anticipates the day when Jesus will reign from sea to sea and shore to shore.



(100:1-2) The setting is Millennial, the place is Jerusalem, the scene is the temple, the occasion is the coronation of Jesus as priest-king of the earth.  The gates of the city are flung open to all mankind.  The middle wall of partition, long since broken down in the Church, is now broken down in the kingdom.  The courts of the sanctuary are open now to “all people that dwell on the earth.” Now anyone can come—Jew or Gentile, Greek or barbarian, Egyptian or Assyrian.  The psalmist describes the coming reign of the King.


What the psalmist sees and hears is the SHOUT of the people at the crowning of a popular king.  One can well imagine with what a sigh of relief the remnant of the Gentile nations (the “sheep” of Matthew 24) realize that the nightmare is over.  The beast is dead, the false prophet is dead, Satan has been incarcerated in the abyss, and War has been abolished at last.  The deserts and droughts are to be no more.  Lawlessness, rebellion, and corruption will never again be tolerated as a means of getting things done.  Crime is gone from the earth.  There will be no more need for doctors, nurses, and morticians.  A man will be a mere boy at a hundred!  All because of this wonderful King with the nail-scarred hands!  Well might the psalmist hear a universal shout of praise.  The nations are in harmony at last.

What is wrong with the world today is that it has no center.  It has no powerful, magnetic force to draw the far flung nations together in harmony and peace.  Each one is going its own way and pursuing its own interests.  Often the nation’s become entangled because, not only is there no center, there is no limiting circumference to draw the boundary line around them all. But when Jesus comes the nations will have just such a center and circumference; a center to bring the nations together and a circumference to set the boundary lines.  As a result, there will be a harmony which will be celebrated by a universal shout of acclamation for the King.  He will be the gathering center of the nations, and His law will set their bounds.  So we see the nations approaching Him and, consequently, drawing closer and closer to one another in the process.  There will be unrivaled harmony.

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands!” When all nations have been discipled, and the gospel preached to every man, woman, and child, then this summons will have been fully answered. This psalm, perhaps, was intended for proselytes who came to believe in the Jewish religion, from lands outside of Israel—people from “all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues” (Revelation 7:9{1]).

Do not worry, if you’re like me and cannot sing, just “make a joyful noise”; the Lord is more interested in your sincerity and intent than in the sound of your voice. Some “make a joyful noise” with musical instruments as they did then.

Once again I would emphasize the fact that God does not want you to come before Him to worship with a long face. There are times when we have long faces; problems plague us, temptations overcome us, or we come to God in repentance, asking Him for forgiveness. We cast ourselves upon Him. But none of that is worship. You worship God when you come to praise Him. He wants you to be happy.  Worship leads to service, and true service is worship.  If we sing in the Spirit and with understanding, our songs are received in heaven as sacrifices to the Lord (Hebrews 13:15{2]).

There is one criticism I want to make concerning most of the churches I have attended, and that is that they did not have enough praise in their services. We ought to praise God more. We ought to come joyfully into His presence.


The word “presence” can be rendered “face.” The essence of all true worship is to come into the presence of the Lord and to appear before His face in adoration, “with gladness,” and “singing.” We are given great encouragement to worship God cheerfully.  By holy joy we do really serve God; it is an honor to Him to rejoice in Him; and we ought to serve Him with holy joy. 

At best, the Old Testament Hebrew could do this only from a distance, the Gentile from an even greater distance.  People were given access to God, but only limited access.  Between the sinner and a holy God a number of barriers were erected.  There was a gate to the tabernacle, giving entrance to the outer court.  Once the gate had been passed, the seeking sinner was confronted with an alter and a Laver to teach him that he needed a thorough and a recurring cleansing.  Even when he had been accepted at the altar, unless he was a priest, he could approach no further.  He remained in the outer court.

If he were a priest, he could pass the door, enter the holy place, and enjoy the benefits of the table, the lamp stand, and the golden altar. But he could go no further than that—unless he was the high priest.  He alone, after an elaborate ritual preparation once a year could lift the final veil, pass the last barrier, and come cautiously into the presence of God. But Calvary has changed all that.  As Christians we have access right into the presence of God through Christ.  In all acts of religious worship, whether in secret in our closet or with our families, we come into God’s presence, and serve Him; but it is in public worship especially that we enter into His gates and into His courts. But let the people be thankful for their place in the courts of God’s house, to which they were admitted and where they will worship Him along with their fellow believers.

Such is the birthright of every believer today.  He has taken hold of the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  That assures him of access to the presence of the Father.  In a coming day access will be available to all; “Come before His presence with singing.” It is an open invitation to all mankind.  It will be a day of harmony and happiness for all.


The psalmist has three things to tell us about the King.

1)         HIS PERSON: “Know ye that the LORD he is God.” “Jehovah, He is Elohim” says the psalmist.  That is a truth concerning His person.  That is who He is. The more we know God and about Him, the more able we will be to praise Him.

The verb “know” means “to know by experience.” It also carries the meaning of “acknowledge.” What we have experienced in our hearts we openly confess to others and bear witness of our glorious God.  (See 1 Kings 18:39.)

“Know ye that the LORD he is God”; the only living and true God; infinitely perfect; self-existent and self-sufficient; the Father of mercies, tender and true, loving and strong―it is pure pleasure that such a One is God!

That is the first great millennial lesson for the nations, many of whom through the long ages of their history have been steeped in idolatry and false religion.  They are to learn from God’s sovereign dealings with Israel and in the rebirth and restoration of Israel that Jehovah is the one true and living God.  That is a basic truth.  Unless we have learned that truth, all other truth will be held in imbalance and out of proportion.

The foundational truth, the basic, bedrock truth is that Jehovah is Elohim.  It is simple and elementary, but everything begins with that.  This truth, of course, takes on a new dimension of meaning when it is realized that the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New Testament.  No ye that Jesus, He is God.  All other lessons stem from that.  Apart from that, all other learning is empty and vain.  Throughout the entire church age people have been coming to Christ and getting to know Him better.  Throughout the coming kingdom age people will be drawn to the Lord and will come to know Him better.  They will understand more and more of His person.  And what a wonderful person He is!

The heathen worshiped a creature of their own imagination, and made by craftsmen, therefore it is NOT God. We worship Him that made us and the entire world; He is God, and all other pretended deities are merely vanity and a lie. He has triumphed over all these.

There are a lot of people who do not know that the Lord is God. Many Christians are not aware of this fact. In the early Christian church when the first persecution broke out, the apostles came back to the church in Jerusalem and reported what was happening. Their report moved the church to pray, and they began their prayer by saying, “Lord, thou art God . . .” (Acts 4:24). Someone says, “That is easy to say.” Yes, but the question is, Do you believe it today.” There are many Christians who act as if He is not God.

2)         HIS POWER: “it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” Primarily the reference is to Israel as a nation.  And the Lord made that nation.  He began with a single individual named Abraham; he gave that individual a son, then a grandson; he gave that grandson twelve sons and so expanded the individual into a family.  Those twelve sons became the patriarchs of the twelve tribes which, in turn, multiplied into a great people.  He found those people in slavery, set them free, and brought them into Canaan, and made a nation of them.

At the time this psalm was written these events had repeated themselves—the tribes had been uprooted and scattered.  But God had made the nation a second time, and it would again prosper and take deep root in the land.

The phrase “made us” means much more than “He created us,” for He also created the nations that do not know Him.  It means “Jehovah constituted us as a nation, His chosen people” (See 95:6-7; 149:2; Deuteronomy 32:6, 15; Isaiah 29: 23; 60:21.).

In recent years He has made that nation for a third time.  Israel is back in the land—this time to stay.  The nation is only in its embryonic form as yet.  The great tribulation has to come and purge out the dross; the remaining exiles have to be gathered home.  But, as the millennial age dawns, the Hebrew people will bear this testimony to the world: “It is He that hath made us, ―by creation, by election, and by adoption and regeneration―and not we ourselves.” They will have learned that lesson by then, but they haven’t learned it yet. 

He is our Creator. He gave us being; He is both the creator of our bodies and the Father of our spirits. We did not, we could not, make ourselves, He, therefore, is our rightful owner. He has an incontestable right to us and all things. We are His, to be actuated by His power, disposed of by His will, and devoted to His honor and glory.

3)         HIS PURPOSE: “We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” David recognized that fact on the personal level in Psalm 23; it was a comforting truth.  The Lord Jesus has declared Himself to be that great Shepherd of the sheep who so gladdened David’s heart. He is also our Shepherd, and it is the shepherd’s job to care for the sheep―not the sheep’s.

And the Lord Jesus is the Shepherd both of Israel and the Church but there is a difference.  As the Lord’s sheep, Christians are characterized by the word “flock.” In John 10:16 the Lord says: “There shall be one flock and one shepherd.” It is a pity that the King James Version translators rendered the Greek word piomne as “fold.” It should be “flock.” It occurs only four times in the New Testament.  We find it in Matthew 26:31 where, quoting Zechariah 13:7, the Lord Jesus spoke of the scattering of His disciples at Calvary: “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.” It is used in Luke 2:8 where the shepherds are described on the night of the Lords birth: “There were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” We also find the word in 1 Corinthians 9:7 where Paul speaks of his right, as a minister of the gospel, to be financially supported in the work: “Or who feedeth a flock and eateth not of the milk of the flock?” It is the same word Jesus used, “There shall be one flock and one shepherd.” He was referring to the Church.  A flock is marked by a center.  The Lord Jesus is the gathering center of the flock.  He is still gathering to Himself all those who are to be thus associated with Himself: His sheep, gathered around Himself, who is their center. The Lord Jesus is the only center we have.  Since He is in Heaven, our center is in Heaven. 

There is nothing as vulnerable and defenseless as a sheep. It is not strong, nor swift, nor smart. It has little defense against its foes. It can easily be scattered, and it then becomes easy prey to its enemies.  Israel’s sheepfold was the Promised Land.  It was there that God intended to preserve and protect them.  He Himself would be the great door to keep out the wolves. He Himself would see to it that no marauding nation broke in.

Israel, scattered among the nations because of its sins, has been a continuing prey.  The Jews have been driven from land to land.  Whenever they have found what they thought might be a fold, the walls have given way.  They have been plundered, persecuted, preyed upon, and driven from country to country.  Out of the land, Israel is like a sheep without a shepherd and without a fold.  It is God’s purpose to again gather the lost sheep of the house of Israel back into the land.  Then He will be to them all the shepherd they need.  “We are His People, and the sheep of His pasture,” they will say.  Never again will faraway fields look green.

How do you become a sheep? You must be redeemed. This is a case where the Shepherd died for the sheep; the sheep did not die for the Shepherd. What sheep are being talked about in this psalm? The sheep are Israel. The Lord is their Shepherd too. The Lord Jesus told them that He had “other” sheep that were not part of the flock of Israel. “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:14-16). The Lord is the Shepherd of Israel; He is also my Shepherd and yours―if we belong to Him.

This verse is a simple statement of faith; Jehovah is God, Creator, Redeemer and Shepherd, and we are submitted to Him.  If the sheep do not submit to their shepherd, they will stray into danger.


“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise”

The “gates” and the “courts” of the Lord refer to His house, the place of public worship. An essential part of worship is “thanksgiving,” perhaps a thank offering, and “praise.” “Praise” and “thanksgiving” are often linked, and for good reason. “Praise” is grateful acknowledgement of who God is, and “thanksgiving” is appreciation for what He has done.

The prevailing thought throughout this psalm is that Jesus is crowned on earth at last. He has been proclaimed the world’s rightful king. We are not merely following the plea of a godly Levite for the reunification of the tribes. This psalm goes far beyond that.

Here we have the fulfillment of Isaiah’s vision of a millennial earth, of Jerusalem as the world’s capitol, of Israel as the head of the nations, of the Hebrew people as administrators of the new covenant, and of the Lord reigning in person as the King.

Under the Old Covenant, Israel had to gather in assembly two or three times a year to keep the great annual feasts. Our Lord’s first glimpse of the holy city and the temple, so far as we know, was when as a boy of twelve, He accompanied His parents to Jerusalem to keep one of those feasts. God did not want His people to forsake this periodic assembling of them together, for the feasts were not only to be joyous occasions for fellowship, they were also to be times of heart-searching and times of spiritual exercise. They were intended to teach and instruct the people in God’s plans for the ages.

If we are controlled by the Holy Spirit of God and the holy Word of God, we will reveal it in the way we worship God.  Instead of imitating the world, we will be led by the Word and the Spirit to be joyful in the Lord, submissive to the Lord and thankful to the Lord and the world will see the difference.  Finally, note that a spirit of thanksgiving helps us overcome some of the “sins in good standing” that too often invade our lives: complaining (v. 1), idolatry (v. 2), pride (v. 3), and ingratitude (v. 4).  It was when our first parents became “unthankful” that the human race began that terrible descent into sin and judgment (Romans 1:18-32; note v. 21).  Instead of being thankful for what they had, Adam and Eve believed Satan’s lie that the Lord was holding out on them (Genesis 3:1—“every tree”), and this led to their sin.  A thankful spirit is a triumphant spirit. 

During the millennium the gatherings in Jerusalem will be joyous pilgrimages for all mankind. There will be so much to see, so much to learn. Jerusalem and the temple will be the fountainhead of everything. Jesus will be there. The twelve apostles will be there, sitting on twelve thrones and judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The people of the millennial earth not only arrive at the temple, but also at the truth.

be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

We must take it as a favor to be admitted into His service, and give Him thanks that we have liberty of access to Him. We must intermix praise and thanksgiving with all our services.

The ultimate truth will come home to the Hebrew people at last. They will praise the name of Jesus. The truth concerning that blessed name, which Israel has missed through so much of her long, sad history will be known and appreciated at last.


The psalm begins with the word “all” and ends with the word “all.” It begins with a reference to “all lands” and ends with a reference to “all generations.” We see all generations henceforth occupied with the goodness, the mercy, and the truth of God. The phrase “to all generations,” can be rendered, “unto generation after generation.” The millennial reign of Christ will last a thousand years―about twenty-five normal generations today.

The Psalmist concludes this song by citing three strong reasons to praise and thank Him: His goodness, His enduring love, and His continual faithfulness. The highest point of worship is not recognition of God as Creator, but that “the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.” Truth, here as frequently in the psalms, carries the thought of faithfulness and dependability.  It is the same word used in Exodus 17:12 to describe Moses’ hands “staying steady,” and in Genesis 15:6 it is translated “believed” (“relied on,” literally “said amen to the Lord”).  (See Deuteronomy 7:9 and 32:4). 

Generation after generation, born and added to the growing millennial population, will need to learn the truths set before them: “’The Lord is good, (an essential fact); His mercy is everlasting (an eternal fact); and his truth extendeth to all generations (an eternal fact); and His truth endureth to all generations (an enduring fact).” No word of His shall ever fall to the ground because it is out of date or revoked. God is perfect in every way.

Note, Knowledge is the mother of devotion and of all obedience; blind sacrifices will never please a seeing God. “Know it, consider and apply it, and then you will be closer and constant, more inward and serious, in the worship of Him.” What a psalm this is!

I don’t know who you are, or why you are, or where you are, but I do know God is good to you, and He is good to me. How is He good? “The Lord is good,” and especially in that His steadfast love for us, and His reliable faithfulness towards us, are not dependent on anything in us, nor are they divine whims for a moment, but (as the emphasis in the Hebrew makes doubly clear) they are the abiding attitudes and activities of this good God at all times (forever) and to all succeeding generations. Oh, how good He is!

“His mercy is everlasting.” He hasn’t run out of it. Perhaps since He extended so much mercy to me, you thought He had exhausted His supply. He hasn’t. He has a lot left for you. His mercy is everlasting. Like the flour in the barrel belonging to the widow that Elijah helped―it never runs out. “His truth endureth to all generations.” My, what a great psalm of praise this is!


[1} “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” (Revelation 7:9)

[2} “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)