100:0We do not know who wrote Psalm 100 or when. Perhaps It was when they built the temple again 80 years after the King of Babylon destroyed it. The temple was a special house for God in Jerusalem. The temple had a wall all round it. Verse 4 tells people to say ‘thanks!’ to God as they walk through the gates in this wall. The psalm tells everybody to come to the temple and tell God how great he is.
This is a ‘thank-you’ psalm.
1 Everyone on earth, shout to the Lord!
100:1Here ‘everyone’ does not only mean the Jews. Jews are people who were born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children. Bible students believe that it means everybody in the whole world. The word ‘shout’ here means ‘make a loud noise.’ The Hebrew word in this verse does not mean ‘sing.’ The Jews wrote the psalms in the Hebrew language, which they spoke. Maybe the shout is as at a football game, when you shout for your group to win! The Lord is a special name for God. It is a name that his people use. His people are the people that love him and obey him.
2 Do something for the Lord to show that you are happy.
Come to him with songs of joy.
100:2The Hebrew word that we translate ‘do something for’ means ‘work for’ or ‘become the servant of.’ In the psalm, it means that we praise God (tell God that he is great) because he makes us so happy. There is no temple now so we praise him in our churches or our homes. Jesus taught us that the church is now God's temple. Really, we can praise God anywhere! ‘Joy’ is when you feel very happy deep down inside you.
3 Know that the Lord really is God.
He made us and we are his people.
We are as his sheep in his fields.
100:3Some Bibles translate ‘we are his people’ as ‘we did not make ourselves.’ This is because they sound the same in Hebrew! It does not matter because both translations tell us what is true. Sheep are animals that live in fields. God's people are often said to be as sheep. This means that God takes care of them just as a farmer takes care of his sheep. ‘Takes care of’ here means ‘feed and give help to.’ In the New Testament (the second part of the Bible) Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd’ (John 10:11). A shepherd is a sheep farmer.
4 Say ‘thank-you’ when you are walking through his gates.
Stand in front of his temple and say good things about him.
100:4The psalm tells everyone to come to the temple and praise God. The temple was small, so most people stood outside it. Only the priests and Levites went inside. The priests and Levites were special servants of God. They worked in and round the temple. ‘Thank-you’ is a polite way to say ‘thanks.’ The Hebrew of ‘say good things about him’ is ‘bless his name.’ ‘Bless’ is a special Jewish and Christian word.
5 Do all this because the Lord is good.
He is always loving and kind.
He will always do what he has promised to us.
100:5Another way to say ‘he will do what he has promised’ is ‘he is faithful.’ When we do what we promise then we are faithful. God will always be faithful to us. We must also be faithful to him.