Scripture reading – Psalm 95

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Psalm 95 does not identify David as the author; however, the imprint of his life and testimony are undeniable. Nevertheless, a far greater authority identified the king as the writer of this psalm. The author of the Book of Hebrews quoted Psalm 95:7 and wrote, “Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7; Psalm 95:7).

Psalm 95 was most likely sung by the choirs and congregation of Israel during the Feast of the Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-44). Notice that Psalm 95:8-11 referenced 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 during those years.

Psalm 95 – A Psalm of Praise and Worship

Let Everyone Sing Praise to the LORD (Psalm 95:1-2)

The opening verses remind God’s people of how we are to praise and worship the LORD (Psalm 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” (Psalm 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” (Psalm 95:2).

 

The LORD is Worthy of Our Praise (Psalm 95:3-5)

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” (Psalm 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” (Psalm 95:4-5).

 

Bow Before the LORD and Worship Him (Psalm 95:6-7)

Our God is not only our LORD and Creator but also our Shepherd. Therefore, we should “worship and bow down…[and] kneel before the Lord, our maker” (Psalm 95:6). “He is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” (Psalm 95:7). We are his “people,” and like a shepherd, He protects and feeds us. We are “the sheep of his hands,” and He is our guide (Psalm 95:7).

 

An Admonition: Do Not Provoke God’s Wrath (Psalm 95:7b-11)

David wrote, “To day if ye will hear his voice” (Psalm 95:7b). The conjunction “if” introduced a condition, a possibility, a stipulation. God created man as a “free will agent,” and each man and woman can choose how they respond to the “voice,” the Word and Law of God (Psalm 95:7b). Each of us has the capacity to hear and heed the “voice” of the LORD, or reject Him and harden our hearts (95:8a).

David reminded the nation he ruled that their fathers provoked God’s wrath when they murmured against Moses in the wilderness and threatened to stone him and return to Egypt (Psalm 95:8-9; Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:2-13; Hebrews 3:7-19). David asserted that for “forty years,” that generation grieved the heart of God, and He did loath them.

God of Israel, “It is a people that do err [wander; stray] in their heart, and they have not known my ways” (Psalm 95:10). Because they hardened their hearts and refused to learn the ways of the LORD, He vowed in His wrath, “that they should not enter into [His] rest” (Psalm 95:11).

Closing thoughts –

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 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 are responsible for our free will choices. We can turn to the LORD from sin or reject Him and face God’s inevitable judgment. The apostle John wrote of the vision God gave him of the final judgment of sinners: “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” (Revelation 20:11, 15).

If Christ is not your Savior, I invite you to confess you are a sinner, open your heart to Him, and believe He died for your sin.

Will you trust Him today?

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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