I do not often take issue with the translation provided by the New International Version, but I think I should do so here by pointing out that the word "your" in the first line of this psalm ("I will sing of your love and justice") is not in the Hebrew manuscripts. The psalm actually begins: "I will sing of love and justice.” In other words, the psalm is about love (or mercy) and justice, and the way David introduces these two ideas is much like the style of older writers who would compose essays with such titles as "On Friendship," "On Civil Government,” and so on.

It has been some time since we have come across a psalm attributed to David. The last one was Psalm 86, and this is the first in book four of the Psalter, though there is also one yet to come (Psalm 103). Many scholars reject the ascription of the psalm to David. However, it reads like a psalm of David, and it is an appropriate psalm for David as an anointed king of Israel to have written.

The final verse of the psalm, like verse 3, explains why you and I should thank God. But it is not just a repetition of the first explanation. The third verse said that we should thank God because of what he has done; he has both made and remade us. That is, he is both our Creator and Redeemer. The final verse invites us to thank God because of who he is. It tells us three things about him.

A point we need to notice about verse 3 is the implication of the words “he...made us.” If it is really God who has made us, not ourselves, and if we are his because he made us, then we are his to do with as seems best to him.

Yesterday we looked at three imperatives in this psalm. The fourth imperative is "know" (v. 3). It is very important, which is why I have set it apart. By including this word, the psalm tells us that our thanksgiving to God must be intelligent; we must know whom we are thanking. Do you remember Paul’s words to the Athenian Greeks? They had been worshiping "an unknown God.” But when Paul stood on Mars Hill to address them, he said, “What you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you” (Acts 17:23). We cannot rightly thank or worship a God who is unknown to us.