October 22 - Psalm 100

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 22 - Psalm 100:1-5

One of the most well-known hymns of praise, Psalm 100 was an early text for the tune that we know as the Doxology. William Kethe wrote "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" in 1561 while he was in exile. He was a Scottish pastor and with the Scottish Reformation just beginning, was living in Geneva.

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Psalm is written in a common poetic format: A-B, A-B.

It begins with (A) an invitation in three parts (Psalm 100:1-2). Shout for joy, Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. This is followed by (B) an affirmation in three parts (Psalm 100:3). The Lord is God, He made us, we are his.

Psalm 100:4 (A) offers a second invitation in three parts to enter his gates, his courts, and to give thanks followed by (B) a second affirmation in three parts. The Lord is good, His love endures forever and his faithfulness continues.

This is one of those Psalms that would be fairly simple to memorize using a mnemonic, or the knowledge that there is a pattern to this Psalm should be quite helpful.

The Psalmists were musicians and story tellers. I don't know of any composer that wishes their music to be hidden from the world. Their greatest joy comes from hearing their music reproduced well. These Psalms were well composed so that the people could use them in their prayers and in their worship.

Memorization is difficult for me. I guess my challenge is to know this Psalm intimately.