Our singing in God's house must be singing His praises and thanking Him for all the blessings of salvation that He gives us. The psalmist in Psalm 100:4 states, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him and bless His name."
Here we have three words of similar and yet complementary meaning. The broadest word is praise, for thanking God and blessing His name are forms of praise. To praise God is to extol Him for His virtues. To thank Him is to praise Him for the virtues which He displays in what He does for us. Blessing His name is praising Him for what He is. Therefore, the main thought of the verse is that we praise God when we enter His courts.
We must be a God-praising people. Therefore we must thank Him for all the blessings of salvation which He freely gives us, beginning with sovereign, eternal election in Christ, worked out for us through His Son from Bethlehem through Calvary to heavenly glory, where He is seated as our Head and Redeemer Who is preparing the way for us to come before God's presence in the new Jerusalem.
Therefore also we must bless His name, as the psalmist does in verse 3. We must bless Him as God alone, Who saves us without our help, and by His own almighty power.
How careful then we ought to be in choosing the songs which we will sing together in His house, but also in our own homes. He made us to be His people and His sheep. And the meaning is that He made us to be a God-centered people. And a God-centered people will also be a God-praising people. The silly songs, the words of unbelief which the world sings, should never be on our lips. And we must not provide our children with God-denying songs. He created music for His own glory, and so that we might sing:
With thankfulness enter His gates,
His praise in His temple proclaim;
Your voices in thanksgiving raise,
And bless ye His glorious name.
Read: Isaiah 51
Psalter versification: 269:3
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #21
Through the Bible in One Year
Leviticus 19 ; Leviticus 20:1-21
Quote for Reflection:
… Irrepressible praise is in the heart of Sion. That is a fact. And so now that praise of Sion ought to appear on our lips and in our hearts. We who understand so much better what it meant when Jesus came to Jerusalem, we who have seen his battle, his deliverance in the power of his resurrection, we who have tasted him, how should we be silent? Irrepressible praise; it is so often repressed by the flesh. But listen, if the children of Sion should be still, the stones would cry out. – Herman Hoeksema