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Read Psalm 95

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
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,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
    as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
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.’”

Go Deeper

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.

Questions

  1. What is the condition of your heart towards God today?
  2. Is there anything in your life that is distracting you from true, deep worship of God?
  3. Spend some time worshipping God today through song or the reading of Scripture. What are the names for Him you would use?

Quote

“God is to be praised with voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation.”

Charles Spurgeon

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 95”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    What should be the response to our God who holds all of creation in His hand? I noticed the active verbs this Psalm instructs believers to engage in worship: come, sing, shout, extol, bow & kneel. True worship always involves letting go of our will and submitting to His in obedience. Let’s heed the warning given in v8 and guard our hearts so we don’t go astray. A hardened heart is unlikely to hear His voice and will not know rest. I’m testing my heart and fighting to keep it soft and teachable today.

  2. Kathy Davidson

    Hardening our hearts is disbelief in who God is & what He can do. The Israelites hardened their hearts when, after God delivered them from the Egyptians through plagues, & by way of the parting of the Red Sea, they had the nerve to not believe that He could help them defeat the armies in the Promised Land. They had seen God’s power in signs and wonders & yet, they doubted Him still. Their punishment for this disbelief was to never enter God’s rest. How true of disbelief and doubt…. When we let our heart/mind dwell on what we don’t know about God, rather than what we do know about Him, we are filled with disbelief…. And disbelief doesn’t provide the rest that God desires for us! He wants us walking by faith with Him, enjoying the land flowing with milk and honey…. But our hardened, disbelieving hearts keep us far from there. I think that’s why the Psalmist today starts with praise. We can’t have hardened hearts of disbelief if we are overwhelmed with worship! Let praise drive our thoughts & our hearts will remain soft. Let’s stop asking God to prove He exists and instead open our eyes, take a walk outside & see His little miracles everywhere.

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