Wednesday 25 March, 2015

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 Psalm strikes me by its contrast. It begins in great reverence and worship. It finishes with a warning to not go astray in our hearts for we will not be able to enter into God’s rest. What is most striking – in the appeal of God, God’s focus is on the human heart. God wants a soft heart, a heart that stays focused on learning and knowing His ways. But the warning of this Psalm is – the heart goes hard if it is allowed to wander astray, and this arouses the anger of God and the exclusion of God from the good promise of His rest.

Knowing who God is, and putting Him in His right place in our hearts, our days, and our lives, appears to be, by inference in this Psalm, what keeps our heart soft and open to learning from God. In other words, worshipping and exalting God in our hearts keep our hearts from going astray, becoming hard, and angering God. This makes sense. When you realise who God is – Creator and Lord of the Universe – then you are not only awestruck, but your heart becomes focused – wanting to know and live His plan for your life.

Lord, I lift you up in my heart. There is none like you, none other than you, none who can be compared to you. You alone are God, are King of all Creation, Lord of this vast and wonderful universe. Teach me to live a life of worship, and Lord keep my heart soft and hungry to learn about you and your ways all the days of my life. Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

2 replies
  1. Richard Botta says:

    What a great Psalm of praise, a call to worship par excellence. Not only a call to what we are to do, ‘Come let us sing for joy to the Lord’, but why, because ‘the Lord our God is the great God, the great King above all gods’.

    Of course the Psalm goes on, that we should kneel, in submission, because He is the King and we are the sheep of His pasture.

    There is a tinge of rebuke in the Psalm, reminding the people of their behaviors in the wilderness and that they needed to ensure that praising God was part of their lives.

    How much is praise and thanksgiving part of my life? Do they roll off my tongue, or do I have to push them out? Am I one who needs to hear a warning from the Lord because of my grumbling and complaining. Am I using the antidote of praise for grumbling?

    Father help me to live in praise and thank You for all You are and do in my life.

  2. Justin Ware says:

    The hardness or softness of my heart is something that I find needs constant correction through hearing from God’s word and regular conviction by the Holy Spirit.

    I find that I can even go through the motions of being a devoted husband, loving father, caring friend and good worker, but still begin to harden my heart towards God. As we can all see from the narrative of Exodus that is highlighted in this Psalm, hardening my heart towards God will always have a negative impact on my worldly relationships and my life eventually because of the natural consequences of sin.

    This Psalm highlights that I can even hear God’s voice and still harden my heart. God is constantly speaking and I can hear him in one form or another, but there is constant tension in how I respond.

    Lord, may I not only listen for your voice and hear it correctly, but also do what you call me to do with a softness of heart that is maintained by your love for me.

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