A spiritual life is not perfunctory, devoid of intense feelings of joyous appreciation. Prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and association with fellow believers should never be allowed to become mere routine, comparable to the performance of daily chores. This “psalm for thanksgiving” (possibly associated with the thanksgiving offering) exudes triumphant joy. According to the Septuagint, it is a “psalm for confession,” evidently a confession of appreciation or thanksgiving.
All the earth, that is, all the people of the land area known to the psalmist are invited to shout, raising their voices as would a triumphant army. Serving YHWH, recognizing or acknowledging him as the God to whom one is subject and accountable, was not to be like that of fearful servants who cringed before their masters. Rather, it was to be service accompanied by gladness, an entering before YHWH’s “face” or into his presence (evidently at the temple in Jerusalem) with jubilation (Hebrew, renanáh).
At the same time, joyous worshipers would recognize that YHWH is God, the One who created them. They did not create themselves and, therefore, belong to him as his people and are the “sheep of his pasture,” indicating their dependence upon him for protection, guidance, and all that is needful for life.
Because of who YHWH is, the people are encouraged to enter “his gates” (evidently those leading into the temple courts) with thanksgiving and “his courts” with praise. There they would express their gratitude to him for all his bounties and “bless his name” or praise YHWH (as he is the One represented by the name).
YHWH’s attributes rightly occasion thanksgiving and blessing or praise. He is “good,” with not the slightest taint of badness, and, therefore, everything coming from him is good in every respect. His loyalty (Hebrew, chésed), compassionate care, or mercy (Greek, éleos) is abiding. From generation to generation, he continues to be faithful, dependable, or trustworthy
The Hebrew word renanáh is descriptive of jubilation, exultation, or rejoicing, and the corresponding term (hagallíasis) in the Septuagint denotes “great joy” or “exultation.”
According to the Septuagint, the entering of the gates is with “confession,” evidently a confession of thanksgiving or gratitude, and into the courts with “hymns.”
Regarding the abiding nature of his compassionate care or mercy, the Septuagint uses the expression “into the age,” which can signify “for all eternity.” The expression in the Masoretic Text denotes time without limits.
For the Hebrew word chésed and the Greek éleos, see Psalm 5.
See Psalm 1 regarding the divine name (YHWH).