Verse 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving. To the occurrence of the word thanksgiving in this place the Psalm probably owes its title. 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. Expiatory sacrifices are ended, but those of gratitude will never be out of date. So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. Mercy permits us to enter his gates; let us praise that mercy. What better subjcct 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.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4. Enter into his gates; for to the most guilty are the gates of his church open. Francis Hill Tucker.
Verse 4. With thanksgiving. On the word hrwt the word used in Leviticus 7:12 for sacrifices of thanksgivings], Rabbi Menachen remarks: All sacrifices will be abolished; but the sacrifice of thanksgiving will remain. George Phillips.
Verse 4. The former part of this Psalm may have been chanted by the precentor when the peace-offering was brought to the altar; and this last verse may have been the response, sung by the whole company of singers, at the moment when fire was applied to the offering. Daniel Cresswell.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 4. A Discourse of Thankfulness which is due to God for his benefits and blessings.
A Sermon by Thomas Goodwin. Works, vol. 9 pp. 499-514. Nichol's edition.
- The privileges of access.
- The duty of thankfulness.
- The reasons for enjoying both.