Wonder, worship and warning
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; 7a for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
7b Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and 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.”
Psalm 95–Wonder, worship and warning
(Verses 1-5) This psalm deals with wonder, worship and warning. Intended for Old Testament Jews, it applies in principle still to all ‘born-again’ sinners. It starts with wonderful truths about God, easily taken for granted and not marvelled at as we ought. These truths should make us ‘sing for joy to the LORD’. Why? Our God is good and gracious. He is not evil or against us. We should approach ‘with thanks-giving’, ‘music and song’ our covenant-keeping God (known as ‘Jehovah’ or ‘the LORD’). We cannot worship and ‘extol Him’ (lift Him up in praise) until and unless He becomes our ‘Rock of our salvation.’ Then we can know and praise with joy our Triune Saviour God. The Lord Jesus Christ (God the Son) is One in the Godhead with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit: Three in One and One in Three. We only come to know God as Saviour, when we believe that Jesus died on the cross in our place, bearing our sin and the penalty that sin deserves. We confess our sins to Him, with shame. We thank Him for dying for us and rising from death. We humbly ask Him to enter our lives to forgive and save us and become our Lord and Master. We then know our ‘Rock of salvation’ on whom we build the rest of our lives. We then realise He is ‘great’ and ‘the great King above all gods’. We see His immense power as Creator: the depths of the earth are in ‘His hand’ as are the mountain peaks. He made and owns the sea. He formed the dry land from it. Our amazing Creator and Saviour God also loves you!
(Verses 6-7a) It is obvious that our hearts, should ‘bow down in worship’ as we ‘kneel before the LORD our Maker’. Better still He becomes our personal Shepherd when we trust in Christ. We become His ‘sheep’ under His loving care (Psalm 23).
(Verses 7b-11) With every blessing comes a loving warning from God to the children of Israel. Their up and down faith and lack of obedience robbed them of much blessing and made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until a whole generation died out and a fresh trust and obedience in the Promised Land was offered to their successors, under Joshua’s leadership. They had ‘tested and tried’ God Himself by the way they failed to trust and follow Him. So, they went astray and made a potentially short journey in the wilderness into a hard forty year slog. So, they missed the blessings awaiting them in Canaan. ‘Meribah’ (‘rebellion’ or ‘quarrelling’) followed their grumbling about lack of water. ‘Massah’ (‘testing’ of God) came when their leaders failed to believe that God would supply them with water. Meribah and Massah show how they failed to trust God. If you trust Jesus as your Saviour now, you can never lose your Heavenly home or salvation: but failure to trust and obey God can rob you of blessings en route. Beware!