Pondering 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 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.”
Grumbling and complaining never gets you anywhere. This was certainly the case for the Israelites. They were on their way to the promised land when they started grumbling and complaining about not having water – this is the Psalmist allusion to Meribah and Massah. You can find the account in both Exodus 17 and Numbers 20. The grumbling was an indication of something going on in their hearts. The Psalmist says here that their hearts had “gone astray” and that they did not know the ways of God. And as a result they spend the next 40 years wandering in the desert and probably wondering what went wrong.
I don’t ever want to be a grumbler – nor a complainer. I have been around my share of people who who do this a lot and it is no fun to listen to. There are at least 3 things that I glean from this passage that can help keep us from become grumblers…
Worship God with thankful hearts – Note verses 1-2. God is the Rock of our salvation. We must never ever forget what God has done for us to rescue us from our sin and depravity and give us Life when all we deserved was death and wrath. This is why author Jerry Bridges preaches the gospel to himself everyday. It is a daily reminder of how much he has to thank God for – no matter what else might be going on in his life. Not a bad habit to cultivate.
Worship God for His sovereign care – Note verses 6-7. God is our Maker and Sustainer. We are under His care. We must never ever forget this. Even when life is hard and and there are seemingly good reasons to complain, this especially is when we need to worship God and cling to the promise that as our Sovereign King He knows our needs and provides for us according to His (not our) perfect will.
Worship God through obedience – “Today if you hear His voice…” v.7. Believers should delight in hearing God’s voice not dread hearing His voice. I wonder if the reason so many Christians neglect the reading of God’s Word is because they don’t want to be responsible to do what the Word says. When we remember how God has poured out His blessing upon us (salvation and sovereign care) then when God gives us tasks to do we should joyfully go about doing them. We have been blessed in order that we might be a blessing – and we should never ever forget that obedience is an act of worship.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week: Psalm 103