Read Psalm 95
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice,
8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
This anonymously written psalm is known as an enthronement psalm because it proclaims God is the great King above all gods (v. 3). It begins with verses of worship and ends with warnings. In the first 7 verses, we see names for God, such as Rock of our salvation, great God, great King, our Maker and Creator. He has power over all things. Therefore, He is worthy of our praise. We worship Him not only because He has created all things, but also for how He provided “our salvation” (v. 1) and cares for us (v. 7). The ability to know personally the one true God, who cares deeply for His people, should cause us to overflow with song, thanksgiving and move us to worship.
In verse 7, however, we see a shift from worship to strong warning. Let us learn from Israel’s refusal to trust in God (Numbers 13:30-14:32). What are the character qualities of Israel that we should guard ourselves against? They have hardened hearts, who tested God and went astray. We all have sinful hearts, shortcomings, doubts and questions, but our willingness to lay down our will, disobedience and pride in our works is what the Lord is after. A true worshipper of God comes to Him with a soft and surrendered heart.
In Hebrews, this psalm is quoted 3 times (Hebrews 3:7, 15 & 4:7). Hebrews 3:12-13 gives us good instruction on how to prevent a hardened heart. Not only are we to lay aside our sinful and unbelieving hearts but encourage each other! We need to surround ourselves with believers who point us towards godliness and are willing to call out things that are affecting our walk with Jesus.
- What is the condition of your heart towards God today?
- Is there anything in your life that is distracting you from true, deep worship of God?
- Spend some time worshipping God today through song or the reading of Scripture. What are the names for Him you would use?
“God is to be praised with voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation.”
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