Psalm 100

Psalm 100 Summary Handout

Joyfully praise and thank the LORD


The psalmist encourages all people to praise the LORD and to know that he is God, our creator, and our shepherd. He also encourages his people to assemble in the temple with thanks, praise, and to bless his name because he is good, loving, and faithful. The psalmist’s pattern is first what people are to do followed by why people should do it. This psalm was probably used in festival times before the exile


  1. Psalm 100.1-3. Joyfully praise the Lord because he is God, because he made us, because we are his people, and because he shepherds us.
  2. Psalm 100.4-5 Enter the LORD’S courts with thanksgiving and praise because he is good, because his lovingkindness is everlasting, and because his faithfulness is to all generations.

Verse summary

  1. Psalm 100.1-3. Joyfully praise the Lord. This section has four imperatives which are commands: shout, serve, come, know. These four imperatives that tell us what to do, then Psalm 3b-c tell us why do it. The Hebrew imperative expresses volition as command, advice, request, wish, permission (See Waltke and O’Connor p 564ff). These imperatives express the LORD’S command. Though this is written for Israel, the application is that all people (all the earth) are to praise him joyfully, gladly, and enthusiastically. And most important, the LORD is the reason for and the recipient of our worship.
    1. Psalm 100.1. Shout, as in 1 Samuel 10.24 (רוע ru’, shout in triumph, acclaim, and often joyfully). See Psalm 66.1; 95.1; 98.6. When entering the presence of the LORD in the sanctuary the people joyfully recognize the LORD as sovereign over all the earth.
    2. Psalm 100.2. Serve (עָבַד `abad, the common word for doing work, to serve) in this context refers to refers to the spiritual service carried out by the actual participation in the service—prayer, offerings, singing. This to be done with joy, with gladness. Spiritual service is not to be reluctant (Genesis 31.27; Psalm 16.11; 137.6; Nehemiah 12.27). Joyful singing (Psalm 63.5) reminds us that fellowship with the LORD is enjoyable.
    3. Psalm 100.3. We shout joyfully, serve with gladness, and recognize (יָדַע yah`, to know, understand, recognize) who the LORD (יהוה Yahweh) is. He is God (אֱלוֹהַּ ‘Elohim Genesis 1.1). The first name gives identity; the second name gives ability—he is supreme, majestic, the creator of all living and non-living. This reminds us that we need to know about the LORD—who he is, what he does, and where we fit in his creation. This psalm emphasizes that whoever we may be, and whatever may be our accomplishments and failures, the LORD is God. The psalmist then mentions three truths or reasons that teach us why we shout joyfully, serve, come before him. He made us, we are his people, and we are the sheep of his pasture. He is creator, owner, caretaker.
      1. “He made us.” This is the word for make (עָשָׂה `asah to do to make Genesis 1.7 and others; Psalm 95.6). He designed us according to his plan. He did the making.
      2. “We his people” refers to the covenant nation Israel and their special relationship to the LORD God. We in the church are also his people in a different way; we are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5.17; 1 Corinthians 1.2).
      3. “And the sheep of his pasture” means he is responsible for and cares for his people, Israel (Psalm 74.1; John 10.14-16). We in the church are also his sheep of a different pasture.
  2. Psalm 100.4-5 Enter the LORD’S courts with thanksgiving and praise. This continues the charge that they joyfully worship him, but now specifies the location. Gates and courts refer to the temple.
    1. Psalm 100.4. The verbs enter, give thanks, and bless are all imperatives expressing will and command from the LORD. Gates are the entry way into the sanctuary and courts are the sanctuary where the worship was carried on, outside the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. The people were to give public proclamation and enthusiastic praise to the LORD and to bless him. With thanksgiving (תּוֹדָה todah a song of thanksgiving, a praise, Psalm 107.22) and praise (תְּהִלָּה tehillah praise, song of praise, Psalm 145.1 superscription) refer to enthusiastic praise or song of praise. Bless (בּרךְ barak to bless and to praise, declare great things about) the LORD continues the acclamation to the LORD. Note that these statements are directed to the LORD. His name stands for who he is, His name identifies him.
    2. Psalm 100.5. Why must people (Israel in context) enter the temple and give thanks and bless the LORD? Because he is good, because of his lovingkindness, and because of his faithfulness.
      1. The LORD is good (טוֹב tob, good, pleasing, Genesis 1.4,10,12 and many times; Ecclesiastes 3.12; Psalm 34.8; 118.1). The LORD is intrinsically good, and he treats his people according to his goodness. He gives life, protects life, and makes life better.
      2. His lovingkindness (חֶסֶד hesed) goes on for all time (עוֹלָם ‘olam). Yahweh’s lovingkindness is what we depend upon. See Exodus 34.6-7. The word is hesed חֶ֫סֶד is found 249 times in 239 verses in the Hebrew Bible. It is often translated mercy, kindness, or lovingkindness, Strong’s 2617.   
      3. His faithfulness is “to a generation and a generation,” forever (דּוֹר dor generation, used twice meaning forever). Faithfulness (אֱמוּנָה ‘emunah reliability, steadiness, faithfulness), tells us that God is true to his nature and to his word. He will act according to His nature and therefore to what he says. God will fulfill or do what He said He would do. He is dependable. We can always rely on Him. He is always faithful to what he says and to his nature. We have no reason to doubt him. See Exodus 17.12 for a physical illustration; also Deuteronomy 32.4 Psalm 89.2; Isaiah 11.5.

So what for us?

  1. Whenever we enter corporate fellowship with the LORD and worship of the LORD, we should joyously thank him, praise him, and bless him. It should be genuine and enthusiastic in our soul and human spirit. We should not be bored or marking time.
  2. Before we can genuinely worship the LORD God we need to know him and know about him. The Bible is the source for knowing the LORD God.
  3. The local church gathering is the primary or central place, though not the only place, for learning and worship in the church dispensation as the sanctuary was in the dispensation of Israel.
  4. The LORD God made us, he owns us, and he shepherds us. Each of these truths should develop inner confidence that we are in God’s image and important to him, motivate us to obey him, and build our personal faith that he will take care of us.
  5. Three divine attributes that will motivate right fellowship with God and worship of God are God’s goodness, God’s lovingkindness, and God’s faithfulness.
  6. Review the doctrine of divine attributes, the doctrine of worship, the doctrine of importance of the Word, and the doctrine of music.