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A Thanksgiving Psalm

Text: Psalm 100

Introduction: One of the most striking Psalms ofthanksgiving is Psalm 100. Psalm 100 is the summons to universal worship of the Lord with gladness and praise. The Pulpit Commentary put it this way:

The hundredth psalm has for its title, “A Psalm of praise,” or “of thanksgiving,” and to this description it well answers. There is not a single mournful note in the composition. God is praised from the beginning to the end, and all the earth is called upon to join in blessing and thanking him. It has been suggested that it was probably written to be chanted by a festive procession as it approached and entered the temple (see ver. 4). The whole runs on without any break or division.

I. THE BASIS OF OUR THANKSGIVING

The 100th Psalm was written for the people of Israel. God said to them, “When you come into the Promised Land, & settle down in your warm homes, & you have plenty to eat, don’t forget Me. I led you out of the wilderness & I brought you into a land flowing with milk & honey.”

But it doesn’t take very long to realize that the people of Israel needed a reminder, and I am afraid that we need it, too. Maybe God had us in mind, too, when this Psalm was written. Did you notice to whom it is addressed? The first verse says that it is addressed to “all the earth,” & the last verse says that it is includes “all generations.” This message of thanksgiving is so deep & wide that it applies to every person in every era in every stage of life.

ILL. It’s sad, isn’t it, that we are the only country in the world, except for Canada & the Philippines (as far as I know), that has a Thanksgiving Day? I wonder how our world would be changed if suddenly all nations would begin to observe Thanksgiving?

I think that there is something about giving thanks together to God that breaks down barriers between people & brings about a unity, much like that which occurred as the Berlin wall began to crumble. I think also that there is a real danger in this season of determining our thanksgiving on the basis of how much we have. “Do I have enough turkey to gorge myself sufficiently? Is my money in the bank secure? Am I healthy?” And we let these things determine whether we are or aren’t thankful. The Psalmist says that all of these things may change at any time. They may drift away, or burn up, or someone may steal them. The only thing we have for sure is our relationship with the Lord.

Just scan the Psalm and see what it emphasizes. In vs. 1you’ll find the name of the Lord. In vs. 2 you’ll find the name of the Lord. In vs. 3 you’ll find the name of the Lord. In vs. 4 it says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving.” And in vs. 5 you’ll find the name of the Lord.

The basis of our thanksgiving is the Lord.

ILL. Alex Haley, the author of “Roots,” had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked, “Why is that there?” Alex Haley answered, “Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words & think that they are wonderful, & begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of the fence post & remember that he didn’t get there on his own. He had help.”

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