The Book of Psalms

Friday: The Psalm for Giving Thanks


Theme: God’s Goodness, Love, and Faithfulness
In this week’s lessons we are reminded of the many reasons for which to thank God.
Scripture: Psalm 100:1-5
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.
1. God is good. The gods of the heathen were not good. They were selfish and capricious. You could never know when they might turn against you and do you harm. Not so our God. The God of the Bible is and has always been good. When he created the world and all that is in it, he saw that it was “good” (Gen. 1:4-31). When he gave us his law, that law was “good” (Rom. 7:12). When he reveals his will to us, his will is “good, pleasing and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). The word “gospel” means the “good news.” The very word “God” is a shortened form of “good.” No wonder the psalmist cried out: “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).
2. God is love. This love “endures forever.” God is many things. He has many attributes. But nothing lies so much at the very heart of God as love. Nothing so endears him to his people.
3. God is faithful. We live in a world of change. And not only is the world changing, even change is changing, because, as Alvin Toffler has reminded us in Future Shock, change is happening at a faster and faster pace as the years speed on. In the midst of a rapidly changing world, it is a comfort to know that God himself is unchanging. He is today what he was for our fathers and mothers—and what he was for Paul and Mary and Joseph and David, indeed for all the patriarchs of the faith back to and including our first parents. Moreover, he can be counted on to remain as he has been. Spurgeon said, “As our fathers found him faithful, so will our sons and their seed forever.”1
Has God been good in the past? Of course! Then he will always be good. You need never worry that he might cease to be good or change his good ways.
Has God been loving? Of course. Then he will always be loving. His very nature is love. You need never worry that he will cease to love you.
Has he seen you through difficult times? Very few Christians have avoided such difficult times altogether. Yet those who have gone through them testify that God has kept them securely. Well, then, he will do it for you also, whatever may come. Has anyone ever had greater reasons to thank God than we who are his redeemed people, who know him not only as our Creator but also as our loving shepherd and Lord? Then let us shout with gladness: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
1Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 2b, Psalms 88-110 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1966), pp. 234, 235.
Study Questions:

What three things do we learn about God in verse 5? How do these qualities contrast with human qualities?
Give examples from Scripture of these three attributes of God.

Reflection: How has God shown you he is good? How has he demonstrated his love? How has he been faithful to you?
Application: Keep a journal and note the good things God has given you, and the ways he has blessed you in the past. Draw upon these for encouragement when you face difficult experiences, as reminders of God’s goodness, love, and faithfulness toward you, which he promises to show you in the future.
Key Point: In the midst of a rapidly changing world it is a comfort to know that God himself is unchanging…he can be counted on to remain as he has been.
For Further Study: If you would like to have your own copy of James Boice’s complete expositions of Psalms, it is available from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals as a three-volume paperback set at 25% off the regular price.

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