Psalm 100:1-51NIV New International Version Translations
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100 is one of those great psalms of the Bible. The psalm is a song of thanksgiving, calling all people to praise the Lord as the creator. All nations are invited to serve the Lord because of His goodness and faithfulness. This is the only psalm bearing this precise inscription, “A PSALM. FOR GIVING THANKS.”
The doctrine of creation in the Old Testament was Israel’s testimony of the uniqueness and sovereignty of the Lord over nations and individuals. In the very act of creation, the Lord demonstrates his power by calling the world into existence.
There are seven specific instructions that God gives to you and me through Psalm 100. Shout, worship, come, know, enter, give thanks, and praise. Seven commands. If we really delve into it and see what’s there, Psalm 100 is actually a scriptural blueprint for worship. If ever we needed a protocol or blueprint of how to do the job, how to get it done, Psalm 100 is that plan.
Items for Discussion
- Discuss each of the seven instructions: Shout, worship, come, know, enter, give thanks, and praise.
- How do they define worship?
- How does a church honor the seven instructions?
- How do you honor each of them?
- Which are the hardest to do?
- Which are the easiest?
- Since these should not be limited to just Sunday worship service, how would someone include each in their daily life?
4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
The Gospel of Luke has two distinctives from the other gospels. The first being the longest of the four gospels. The second is Luke is the only gospel with a sequel—the book of Acts. The two books and their message are virtually inseparable, despite their canonical division. Luke’s gospel lays the foundation for many of the issues answered in Acts. The primary one being the equality of Jews and Gentiles in God’s plan for salvation.
Although neither the Gospel of Luke nor the Acts of the Apostles names an author, it is widely accepted that Luke is the author. Church tradition firmly affixes Luke as the author by A.D. 200 and remained so with no hint of contrary opinion.
The date of the Gospel’s writing is slightly disputed, but not by a wide margin of time. The earliest possible date would be within the years of the last recorded events in Acts, around A.D. 62. The latest possible date is around 170. The most accepted dates fall sometime after the fall of Jerusalem, between 75-85. It is widely believed that Luke’s gospel was penned after Mark’s, which is dated in the 60s. Luke’s gospel writing parallels Mark’s, making it likely that Luke had access to a copy of the Gospel of Mark.
The lost sheep knew that, without the instruction and the care of the shepherd, it was lost. Nevertheless, because of curiosity, it strayed, wandering away from the shepherd (James 1:14). The lost sheep represents the foolish and thoughtless wanderer from God to whom He says, “Do not listen to anything that will lead you away from Me and My truth” (see also Ezekiel 14:11). The caution in Proverbs 19:27—”Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge”—is not just for children but for the well-educated adult who instead listens to the ungodly teachings of those who feign knowledge (II Timothy 4:3-4). How often have Christians allowed themselves to be enticed away by their own intellectual vanity?
To demonstrate further the reason why we should not despise weaker Christians, Jesus illustrates the joy one feels when a lost possession is found. A shepherd rejoices over the recovery of one of his flock that had wandered away more than over all that stayed with him. Similarly, God rejoices when a person who has gone astray from His truth turns back to His way of life. In like manner, we rejoice most in our health when we recover from a serious disease. We rejoice moreover a child rescued from danger than over those who were never at risk. We rejoice more when property is saved from fire or flood than when all was well and we took it for granted.
Items for Discussion
- Have you ever lost anything and then found it? Did you feel like the shepherd in this parable?
- What does modern society teach about this story? That is leaving 99 to find one.
- The marines operate with the same attitude as described in this parable; they will sacrifice 99 to save one. Do you think this helps the flock? If so, how?
- In what way would a church behave to take this parable to heart?
- How would a family behave toward a child or adult member with problems if they were to follow the shepherd’s lead?
- Why is living like the shepherd so hard?
- How can we reflect the happiness of the shepherd in our families, places of employment and church?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations