Dr. Dan Hayden •
There is nothing more pleasant than the sound of an infant squealing with delight. The giggling laughter of small children is like heavenly music and the songs of angels.
Psalm 100 is the “Thanksgiving Psalm.” In the first two verses, we are given three ways to express our thanksgiving: We are to 1) “shout joyfully to the Lord”; we are to 2) “serve the Lord with gladness”; and we are to 3) “come before Him with joyful singing.” Now I’m not sure what thoughts “joyful singing” brings to your mind, but I tend to think of congregational singing in the worship service of the church.
The Hebrew word here, however, has a slightly different idea. It is a word that means “a joyful cry.” This word comes from a root verb, which has the idea of “crying aloud,” or of “shouting out.” It can be used in a negative sense “to lament or wail,” or in a positive sense, “to shout praise; or to express rejoicing.”
You see, it is not specifically the word for “singing,” although singing can be an appropriate response. Actually, the main idea is to make a vocal expression of one’s inner feelings. Here in Psalm 100 it carries the idea of expressing sounds of delight.
Years ago when our children were small, I would come home to squeals of excitement—“Daddy, Daddy!”—and they would come running to jump into my arms. There was passion in their response, and I loved it! Now that is what the Psalmist tells us to do—to come before the Lord with joyful expressions of how thankful we are for Him.
Say—the next time you sing in church, do it with passion! ■