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God Invites Us to Come and Give Thanks

Psalm 100:4 (ESV) … “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”

When we get to verse 4 the emphasis is clearly upon the gathering of God’s people to the temple to thank and praise God together. This is not just a way of saying that it is good to go to church, though that is true enough. It teaches that there is a special aspect of thanksgiving that involves the whole people of God together and not just the private prayers of individuals.

This is what we should expect, of course. For when God called us to Christ he did not call us in isolation but to be his elect people together, participating in a common heritage. This means that those among whom, for whom, and with whom we should give thanks are other believers. Moreover, we should exercise responsibility toward these others by encouraging a thankful response in them toward God. I can imagine that this psalm was often used as an invitation from one Jewish worshiper to another to come to the holy city or to the temple to thank God for his benefits.

How do we thank God? One way is by inviting others to join us in the thanksgiving. We can ask others to go to church with us. I notice that the psalm begins this way: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth” (v. 1). It is an invitation to all the people of all the world to praise God.[1]

[1] Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms 42–106: An Expositional Commentary (p. 814). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

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