“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.” (Psalm 100:1)
I want to spend a couple of days talking about Psalm 100. If you are like me, this is probably one of your favorite passages of Scripture. Many of my favorite passages come from the Psalms. They are so uplifting! I don’t know about you — but it gets depressing sometimes because of all the bad news we hear. The Psalms always seem to lift my spirits. So let’s consider these five verses under the heading of “Let’s Get Excited.”
Think about the first verse of Psalm 100. The very first thing I notice is this is a command – “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.” Why does God desire that I shout joyfully to Him? I think there is a simple reason. When I shout joyfully to the Lord — I draw attention where it should be — ON THE LORD!
Have you noticed all the things people make noise over? I’m continually amazed at how many things there are that people get excited about. I love this time of year — FOOTBALL SEASON! Whether it’s college football, professional football, high school football or Pop Warner football — it seems everybody gets excited about it. When I lived in Knoxville, we started getting excited about the first of August when radio stations would start say, “Only 30 more days until FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!” I learned very quickly that people in East Tennessee take their football seriously. There is nothing like gathering with 110,00 of your closest friends at Neyland Stadium and hearing the Pride of the Southland Band break out in Rocky Top! I get excited just thinking about it.
Now…think about this. Have you ever been to a football game where the cheerleaders turned to the crowd and held their fingers to their lips and said, “Please be quiet. You are making entirely too much noise”? Of course you haven’t and do you know why? It is because the cheerleaders know the encouragement of the fans helps the team work harder to win the game and when our team wins — we get so excited that we make even more noise.
When we are excited about something, we are going to make some noise. That is what I think the Psalmist is saying in verse 1. God wants us to get excited about Him. I asked a Sunday school teacher once about what she was trying to accomplish in her class. Her answer impacted me greatly. She said, “Pastor Keith, I’m just trying to get my class excited about the Lord.” This teacher recognized something about people today — they are excited about many things, but many times the Lord isn’t one of them.
It is absolutely amazing what I see as I look around the worship center on Sunday morning. There are people sitting, staring off into space — their minds a million miles away. Some folks sit there and look like somebody just gave them a dose of castor oil and they are about to be sick any minute. And then there are always those who constantly look at the clock as if they are bored to death with God’s Word.
We call our services “worship services,” but I’m afraid for many people, worship never takes place. Do you know why? The reason many people are not excited about the Lord is because they really don’t know the Lord. When you meet somebody who really loves the Lord, you can’t help but notice. They want to “make a joyful noise.”
We need to get hold of ourselves and fall in love with Jesus — and get excited about Him and our salvation! Let’s continue this discussion tomorrow.