Psalm 95

Psalm 95 is a call to worship for God’s people to respond to the Lord our Shepherd and to follow Him faithfully. It also contains a warning to listen to His voice and guard against unbelief.

Psalm 95:1-2, Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

This invitation to worship contains several expressions that describe true worship. Worship is singing to the Lord. It is making a joyful noise or joyful shout to the Rock of our salvation. Worship is coming into His presence, giving Him thanks for all He has done. Worship is raising our voices in songs that declare who He is and what He has done for us!

Psalm 95:3-5, 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

Just as there are several expressions of worship, there are several descriptions telling us whom we are worshiping. The LORD is to be praised because He is a great God. He is a great King. He is above any and all other gods. The LORD holds the depths of the earth in His hand in the sense that He owns them. The mountain peaks are His also since He formed them. He created the oceans and He formed the continents and islands with His hands.

Psalm 95:6-7a, 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

A second invitation to worship rings out. This invitation invites us to draw closer. Worship becomes personal and intimate. Kneel before the LORD our Maker. Give Him the worthy and value He deserves because He is God. He created us. He redeemed us. He is the Good Shepherd who gave His life for us. Now, we are the people of His pasture. He leads, guides, and protects us by His nail-pierced hands.

Psalm 95:7b-11, Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. 10 For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” 11 Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”

Right in the middle of verse 7, there is an abrupt change from worship to warning; “Today, if you will hear His voice . . .” These verses refer to Exodus 17:1-7 and Numbers 20:1-13, where Israel grumbled, complained, and tested God when they had no water. They went so far as to question, “Is the Lord among us or not?” The generation of Israel that was delivered from Egypt saw the wonders of the Lord, but they foolishly did not try to grasp their significance (Ps. 92:5-6). They hardened their hearts, resisted God’s grace, and lost their right to enter the promised land, all because of their unbelief and disobedience.

Worship must always include faith and obedience. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). To obey is better than sacrifice or worship (1 Sam. 15:22). When we worship as described in verses 1-7a, may we understand and grasp the significance of God’s redemptive work in our lives. Let us be quick to listen to His voice and obey. Never let the circumstances of life cause us to question God’s promises. Worship in faith. Obey in faith. Keep the faith and enter His rest.

Pastor Tom

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