That I’m writing this on VE Day is fitting. 75 years ago today, Britain came together for a day of celebration to mark victory in the European theatre of World War Two.
Yet, these were the celebrations of a moment, for as Winston Churchill reminded the nation: ‘We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead’.
How different the rejoicing in this psalm?
Looking forward to the Millenial Day – ‘the battle fought, the victory won’ (in every sense); the King of Kings, our Lord Jesus Christ, established upon His earthly throne; and the world ushered into an era of peace and prosperity, the like of which it has never seen since the Fall – mankind comes together in a joyous song of thanksgiving to their Saviour.
A Psalm of praise.
‘Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’
The psalm divides into two stanzas really. Each begin with praise, then give the reason for that praise: the Lord is God, and the Lord is good.
While these words are primarily for a day to come, we, as believers, can enter into the spirit of these words entirely, and this psalm is another worth memorising.
The Lord is God
The first stanza is full of rejoicing, and no wonder, for now there is a man upon the throne unlike any other. This is the LORD (Yahweh) who saves (Yeshua) – our Creator and Redeemer.
We rejoice that we are made a new creation: ‘old things are passed away, behold all things are become new’ (2 Cor 5:17).
We rejoice that we are ‘His people’: ‘called … out of darkness into His marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9), and while there is present ‘reproach’ and ‘affliction’ (Hebs 11:25), we rejoice that ’there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God’ (Hebs 4:9).
We rejoice that ‘we are the sheep of His pasture’: enjoying the safety, sustenance and stillness of the fold (Eze 34:14), and can say ‘the LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want’ (Psa 23).
The Lord is Good
The second stanza is full of thanksgiving, because the Lord, indeed, is good. Two aspects of His goodness are specified: His mercy and His truth.
We thank the Lord because He is ‘rich in mercy: for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus’. (Eph 2:4-7)
We thank the Lord for His truth, through which we are ‘set free’ (John 8:32); through which we are ‘sanctified’ (John 17:19); and in which we spiritually ‘worship’ (John 4:24), and practically ‘love’ (1 John 3:18).
Truly, there is much to thank God for, so let’s ‘make a joyful noise unto the Lord’.