Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
A recounting of the failed resistance against Babylon with some additional information.
The mercy of God saved us, not our righteousness. Even so, we are supposed to display righteousness. Some of the specifics are more difficult than others; e.g., avoiding stupid controversies. Today I am struck by the assessment that the reason we are supposed to avoid quarrels about the law is that they are unprofitable and worthless.
I once asked a group of church-goers what scripture they had memorized. Several named Psalm 100. I was not surprised because when I was a child I had been encouraged to learn this psalm either at Sunday School or Vacation Bible School.
I don't know what I made of that phrase "all the earth" (or, in other translations, "all ye lands") when I was trying to memorize Psalm 100. I'm not even sure if I learned it in the NRSV or KJ. I'm not sure what I mean by it when I say it today. Who is being called to make this joyful noise? Am I recognizing Christians in other countries? Am I including Jews? What about Muslims? What about everybody else, those who don't descend from Abraham?
What do I think about "his gates"? Am I restricting the meaning of this phrase to church buildings (and synagogues and mosques)? Can God's gates include somewhere outside the church building? That is, am I restricting worship to a kind of formal space?
Like a maniac who shoots deadly firebrands and arrows,
so is one who deceives a neighbor and says, "I am only joking!"
Prayer for Today: O Lord, guide us into ways of obedience to your commands. Focus us on doing good works and direct us away from unprofitable disputes. Amen.