Scripture reading – Psalm 95
Psalm 95 does not identify David as the author; however, the stamp of his life and testimony are, in my opinion, undeniable. There is; however, a far greater authority that identifies the king as the writer of the psalm. The author of the Book of Hebrews quotes a portion of Psalm 95:7, writing, “Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).
I believe Psalm 95 would have been sung by the choirs and congregation of Israel during the Feast of the Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-44). Psalm 95:8-11 references Israel’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness, of which the Feast of the Tabernacles was a reminder of the sovereignty and providence of God.
Psalm 95 – A Psalm of Praise and Worship
In the exercise of praise and worship, notice how God’s people are to praise the LORD (95:1-2). We are to “sing unto the LORD” with a spirit of rejoicing. We are to “make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation” (95:1b). Remembering the singing of this psalm would have occurred when the priests entered the Tabernacle, we read, “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, And make a joyful noise unto him with psalms” (95:2).
Why should we worship the LORD? (95:3-7)
The God of Israel is not a god among many gods; He is the LORD, the sovereign of creation. He “is a great [strong; mighty] God, And a great King above all gods” (95:3). He is the Creator, and “in his hand are the deep places of the earth: The strength of the hills is his also. 5The sea is his, and he made it: And his hands formed the dry land” (95:4-5).
The LORD is our Shepherd, and we should “worship and bow down…[and] kneel before the Lord our maker” (95:6). “He is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” (95:7). We are his “people,” and He protects and feeds us. We are “the sheep of his hands,” and He is our guide (95:7).
An Admonition: Do Not Provoke the Wrath of God (95:7b-11)
David, wrote, “To day if ye will hear his voice” (95:7b). The conjunction “if” introduces a condition, a possibility, a stipulation. God created man a “free will agent,” and each man and woman has the capacity to choose how they respond to the “voice,” the Word and Law of God (95:7b). Each of us has the capacity of hearing and heeding the “voice” of the LORD, or rejecting Him and hardening our hearts (95:8a).
David reminded Israel how their fathers had provoked God’s wrath when they murmured against Moses in the wilderness, and threatened to stone him and turn back to Egypt (95:8-9; Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:2-13; Hebrews 3:7-19). David observed, for “forty years” that generation had grieved the heart of God and He did loath them. God said, “It is a people that do err [wander; stray] in their heart, and they have not known my ways” (95:10). The people had not learned the ways of the LORD, and He vowed in His wrath, “that they should not enter into [His] rest” (95:11).
What was the “rest” the LORD withheld from that generation because of their sin and rebellion? It was Canaan, the long-awaited Promised Land (Numbers 14:21-33; Deuteronomy 1:34-35). Because they had rebelled, the children of that unfaithful generation were burdened with burying their fathers and mothers in the wilderness.
What a powerful lesson, and warning to all! We all bear the responsibility of a “free will,” and have the capacity of turning to the LORD, from sin, or rejecting Him and facing the inevitable judgment of God.
Revelation 20:11, 15 – 11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them…15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Whom will you choose to worship, and serve?
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith