Ps. 100:4 – Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
This is the great lesson of the children of Israel in their wilderness drama. They couldn’t enter in to the promised rest because of unbelief. Their unbelief was expressed in unthankfulness. All they could think about was the good old days in Egypt. The glory of God was in their midst, the promise of entering the land of promise was just ahead, complaining rather than giving thanks to the Lord blocked them from the blessing. Sometimes we have to give thanks to the Lord as an expression of faith, it is in thanksgiving that we access His presence and His promises. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes this verse.
“In all our public service the rendering of thanks must abound; it is like the incense of the temple, which filled the whole house with smoke….Mercy permits us to enter his gates; let us praise that mercy. What better subject for our thoughts in God’s own house than the Lord of the house. And into his courts with praise. Into whatever court of the Lord you may enter, let your admission be the subject of praise: thanks be to God, the innermost court is now open to believers, and we enter into that which is within the veil; it is incumbent upon us that we acknowledge the high privilege by our songs. Be thankful unto him. Let the praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue, and let it all be for him to whom it all belongs. And bless his name. He blessed you, bless him in return; bless his name, his character, his person. Whatever he does, be sure that you bless him for it; bless him when he takes away as well as when he gives; bless him as long as you live, under all circumstances; bless him in all his attributes, from whatever point of view you consider him.”
David had learned the power of thanksgiving in his life. As a matter of fact Psalm 136 is an entire Psalm given over to thanksgiving. He thanks God for His mercy, His goodness, His signs and wonders, for His creative wisdom, for deliverance from his enemies, for giving them the land of promise, and for remembering them when they were nothing. Acknowledging God’s past goodness and giving thanks places us in a position to continue to enter in to His promises and His presence. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever.