Psalm 95 - A Call To Praise The Lord, Part 2

If you missed the first half of our devotion on Psalm 95, click here to catch up.

Psalm 95 is an amazing call to stir up the hearts of the people to praise God. This praise wasn't to come from duty or in hopes of some reward, but because their hearts should be overflowing with the need to thank the Lord for all He had done for them.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. V6

Here the psalmist instructs us on exactly how we should approach God's throne of grace. If we have truly humble hearts, we will have no choice but to bow before Him. Our knees automatically buckle out of reverence and awe over His power and His might, and we drop our head and eyes acknowledging Him as Creator of all things. Your body position, though described here in detail, isn't as important as a bowed and respectful heart.

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness. V7-8

So many of the psalms contain references to sheep and their shepherd, and Christ continues to paint the pastoral picture in the gospels. The sheep's sole allegiance is to the shepherd, refusing to follow anyone but him. Because He is our God, we can claim His pasture as our home and His hand as our resting place. When He speaks, we listen because we know His voice and recognize His guidance. The example of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years instead of trusting the Lord should remind us to keep our hearts soft and our ears open.

When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways. V9-10

As the people wandered, they tempted God with their murmurings, proved Him in is faithfulness and saw the miracles He provided along the way. Imagine having been able to see the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea and manna from heaven. But even then, the psalmist writes, even as they saw His work with their very own eyes, they still didn't know His ways. Those hardened hearts in verse 8 wouldn't allow them to believe that all He did was for their good and His glory. They saw His work, so they had no excuse for their choices and errors. We, on the other hand, have also seen His work in our own lives, and we have so many opportunities every day to fall before God and lift our voices in praise.

Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. V11

God's threatenings are as real as His promises. The people had abandoned their faith time after time, preferring the garlic and onions of captivity to the milk and honey that was their inheritance. The psalmist wanted the people he was writing for to understand that they didn't have to follow in the footsteps of these faithless generations. They had the opportunity to make better decisions and reap the benefits of a God who is worshipped in spirit and in truth. This was the only way they — and we today— would be able to find the rest in the Lord that He so desperately wants to share with us.

Have you praised God today? Have you thanked Him for the blessings He has given you in the past few hours, days or weeks? Can you name those blessings ton by ton? We each have so much to be thankful for, and today is a great day to hear the call to praise His holy name.

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