Faith

Psalm 95

This week I memorized Psalm 95 because I’m in a Bible study that’s focusing on Psalm 95:6-7, and I thought it was appropriate to use the whole Psalm for my next week of memorization.

Here it goes:

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10 For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways.”
11 Therefore I swore in my wrath,
“They shall not enter my rest.”

Again, typed that from memory, I promise, but I had to go back and copy the formatting.

This one was an easy one to memorize. See, my absolute all time favorite setting in the Lutheran Service Book is the service of Matins. I wrote a post earlier about loving traditional worship, and Matins has everything I love about traditional worship: organ, chanting, singing, beautiful liturgy, etc.

Anyway, Psalm 95 makes up the Venite: “Oh Come, Let Us Sing.” I’m assuming it’s the call to worship for the service, as it’s pretty early on. Because I’m familiar with the Venite (as in, already had that memorized), I only had to correct myself on the order and memorize the last four verses.

Which, compared with the rest of the Psalm, the last four verses of the Psalm are weird, right? You completely change theme and you completely change speaker. It just doesn’t seem to fit.

I had to do some research of my own to understand what was going on.

This Psalm is a call to worship, the first two verses are calling us to worship him with our voices, singing and making noise to praise God.

And then it gives us the reason: God is a great God, above all other gods. He created the whole world and everything in it, and the whole world is in his hands.

Verses 6-7a call us to worship him with our bodies, kneeling and bowing before him, as is commonly done in prayer.

Then the psalmist gives the mic to God, who talks about what happened during the Exodus, when his people turned against him many times.

Meribah and Massah come up in Exodus 17:7:

And he called the place Massah and Meribah  because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

This last half of the Psalm is a plea that our worship would be sincere and true and that we would listen to God, believe God and trust in God. The Israelites doubted God time and time again, causing him to be angry with them. He doesn’t want to be angry with us. He wants us to enter his rest. And he tells us how we can do that: through the worship described in this Psalm.

 

Image taken from Good News Broadcasting Association. Psalm 95.”

 

This site helped me understand this Psalm.

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