“Serve Jehovah with Rejoicing”
OUR Maker, Jehovah, is a “happy God” and wants his servants to find delight in faithfully carrying out his commands. (1 Tim. 1:11; Jas. 1:25; Rev. 1:3) These commands are rooted in love, for “love does not work evil to one’s neighbor.” (Rom. 13:8-10) That is why obedience to the Creator contributes to the happiness of others and also ensures one’s enjoying a happy, contented life.
So, then, should not people of all nations exult in Jehovah? That is what the inspired psalmist encouraged, saying: “Shout in triumph to Jehovah, all you people of the earth. Serve Jehovah with rejoicing. Come in before him with a joyful cry.” (Ps. 100:1, 2) In agreement with this admonition, our expressions of praise should not be weak but strong and forceful, comparable to the ‘triumphant shout’ of an army that has gained a decisive victory. The position of God’s servants is not that of fearful, cringing slaves. Service to God is not burdensome and oppressive, causing one to become unduly serious and gloomy. (1 John 5:3) That service is refreshing, invigorating, and should rightly be accompanied by rejoicing. For this reason the psalmist urged people to come into God’s presence “with a joyful cry.”
Basic to one’s wanting to render sacred service is that Jehovah is God and man’s Maker. The psalmist declared: “Know [recognize, acknowledge] that Jehovah is God. It is he that has made us, and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasturage.” (Ps. 100:3) By reason of his being the Creator, he owns us, as a shepherd owns his sheep. Besides Jehovah’s Godship and his Creatorship, the kind of God that he is provides strong incentive for people of all nations to enter the courtyards of his sanctuary, there to offer up thanksgiving and praise. Moreover, we should bless his name, that is, speak well of the Most High, the One represented by the name. The psalmist urges: “Come into his gates with thanksgiving, into his courtyards with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For Jehovah is good; his loving-kindness is to time indefinite, and his faithfulness to generation after generation.”—Ps. 100:4, 5.
Jehovah’s qualities should certainly move one to praise him. He is good through and through, without even the slightest taint of badness. His loving-kindness or compassionate regard for his servants can always be relied upon; it continues to time indefinite. “Generation after generation” Jehovah is faithful, unswerving in the expression of his love toward those wanting to do his will. (Rom. 8:38, 39) Do we not, then, have good reason to “serve Jehovah with rejoicing”?
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“We are his people and the sheep of his pasturage.”—Ps. 100:3.