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Psalm 95 - Worship with a Purpose
by Gary Sims
02/22/05
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The Songs
Psalm 95 - Worship with a Purpose

Key Verses:
(NIV)
  • 1-2: "Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song." - Devotion to God is the first aspect of Godliness. David calls us to bring our offerings of worship to God.

  • 6-7: "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care." - Humility is a natural response to the glory of God.

  • 8-9: "Today, if you hear His voice, 8do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, 9where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did." - "If you hear His voice" and then God speaks. He speaks of a time when hearts were hardened and His people could not sense His presence in their lives.

  • 10-11: "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.' 11So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" - Closing our hearts to God leads us astray - into the paths of sin and temptation. When this occurs we forget the ways of God and drift away in the wilderness, forever lost and forsaken.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Does your heart explode with songs of praise for God? Are there times when you cannot contain your joy? When you see evidence of His splendor in your life, are you humbled by His greatness? Are you brought to your knees in awe and admiration? Do you feel that you are one of His people? Do you experience His loving care in your life? Pause for a moment and reflect on His glory and feel your heart burst with His love. Will you live your life today as an act of worship in response to that love?

  • Do you hear His voice? Or is your heart hardened to His presence? Do you recognize that if you cannot feel God's presence in your life, if you are seeking proof of His love or if you test His purpose and intent, that it is your heart to blame? Can you accept that God is always near by and always available to provide for your needs and comfort? What steps can you take today to open your heart to His love?

  • Has your heart gone astray? How does this happen? Is it as a result of neglect or lack of focus? Is it an issue of faith or determination? Could it be that it has to do with your acts of worship? Has your heart hardened because you have ceased going to "Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song?" Is your worship of God simply an offering that fills God's ego or is it an important step in your faith journey? Do you feel God's presence when you worship? If so, doesn't this prove how your acts of worship are important aspects to the softening of your heart and the key to walking in His paths of righteousness?
Promises of the Gospel:

God was angry with the Israelites at Meribah and Massah. He was angry but not because of idol worship or sinful behavior. He was angry because they simply could not feel His presence in their lives in spite of the overwhelming evidence to prove otherwise. They could not feel God's presence. They questioned His love and tested His resolve. David wraps this story into a psalm of praise and worship, not to point fingers at these ungrateful people, but to illustrate the important role that worshipping God plays in our lives. It is through songs of praise and thanksgiving that the glories of God are remembered. It is when we kneel before God in humble praise that we can sufficiently set aside our worries and concerns to experience His love and care. Our hearts are softened to God in worship and, as a result, we will always feel His presence in our lives, hear His voice in our hearts, and walk in His paths to the glory and eternal rest He has in store.

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