A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
In its heading this composition is described simply as a psalm of (or “for”) thanksgiving, which, given both the Levitical/Temple context of the Psalms’ original compilation, as well as the frequent use of the Hebrew term [for] “thanksgiving sacrifice,” it seems most likely that it was in conjunction with such sacrifices that this psalm was meant to be sung. — Wechsler, page 239.
[Vs.1-3a] The psalmist exhorts his addressees to express their thanksgiving, first and foremost, by worshipping (as the verb translated “serve” is typically intended) the Lord for who He is—i.e., focusing on the fact of His deity in general as opposed to any specific attribute(s) appertaining thereto: that the Lord (Hebrew “Yahweh,” His uniquely revealed name) Himself is God—in which the pronoun (“Himself”), which is usually not supplied except for emphasis, is intended to underscore the fact that the Lord alone is God (i.e., the only one who qualifies as deity.) — Wechsler, page 239.
[V.3b] The psalmist continues his exhortation to praise and thanksgiving by declaring, on behalf of Israel, that “it is He”—i.e., the one and only God as affirmed in the previous clause—”who has made us,” referring not to God’s creation of them as humans, but rather to His “making” of Israel as His own special people, as evident from (1) the parallel phraseology in 1 Samuel 12:22, and (2) the following clause, in which the psalmist affirms that (because God has “made” them), they are His people and the sheep of His pasture. — Wechsler, page 240.
[Vs.4-5] Drawing out the implication of Israel being the “sheep” of God’s “pasture,” the psalmist exhorts his people to offer God thanksgiving and praise because of His lovingkindness and faithfulness [terms used for God’s covenant love for Israel]. — Wechsler, page 240.