Daily Family Worship

Psalm 95: The Psalm of Provocation

by | Jun 7, 2024

psalm 95

This Psalm is a prophecy concerning Christ, and its contents are fully explained in the Apostle’s Epistle to the Hebrews. It prophesies concerning the time of the New Testament, and it sets forth the lovely and sweet voice of the Gospel-message. In short, the Psalmist here instructs us in, and allures us to, the knowledge of the riches of the grace of God – which were known to our spiritual forefathers as well as unto us, in the promised Messiah.

From the opening verses of this composition, we learn that whenever we come into God’s presence, we must come with thanksgiving. The Lord is to be praised! Truly there is no lack of subjects and reasons to praise Him; it would be well if we did not lack the heart to offer praises to His name. How great is that God to Whom the whole earth and all its fullness belongs! The Lord Jesus, Whom we are here taught to praise, is a great God. In fact, “the mighty God” is one of His titles (Isa. 9:6). To Him, all power is given – both in heaven and on earth. He is our God, and so we should praise Him! He is our Savior, and He is the Author of all our blessedness. The Gospel-Church is His flock; He is the great Good Shepherd of believers; He sought them when they were lost, and He brought them home again to His fold.

“Come,” invites the Psalmist, “and let us rejoice in the Lord!” Yes, come, all you who are afar off, and you who are near! Let us exult in the Lord; let us triumph in the God of our salvation! In other words, “Come and let us rejoice with the whole triumph of our hearts, in the infinite benefit and mercy that is bestowed upon us in the precious grace of Jesus!” We have His promises; therefore, let us not neglect His great salvation. To believe in the promise of grace – contrary to all the objections of conscience, all the temptations of Satan, and all the fears of our own hearts – is the true worship of God!

In the second main portion of this Psalm, we have a particular warning against unbelief. “Harden not your hearts,” says the Psalmist, “as ye did at Massah and Meribah in the desert; your fathers, on account of their unbelief, entered not into the holy land of promise.”

The lesson that we must always remember is that Christ calls upon His people to hear His voice. We call Him Master, or Lord; and so we ought to be His willing, obedient people. Hear His voice in His written Word; hear, heed, and yield. Christ’s voice must be heard today! This day of opportunity will not last forever; make use of it while it is still called “today!” Hearing the voice of Christ leads to believing upon Him, but hardness of heart is at the bottom of all distrust of the Lord. The sins of others ought to be warnings to us, so that we may not follow in their footsteps. The murmurings and unbelief of the Israelites in the wilderness were written for our admonition. God is not subject to such passions as we are; He is very angry at sin and sinners. That is certainly evil which deserves such a recompence as being forever barred from entering into the Lord’s heavenly rest, and His threatenings are as sure as His promises. Let us pray for grace and discernment to be aware of the evils of our hearts, which lead us to wander away from our God! There is a rest ordained for believers – the rest of everlasting refreshment in heaven – which is begun in this life, and perfected in the life to come. We certainly do not want to fall short of it.

O Lord, seeing that there truly is no lack of subjects and reasons to praise Your name, we repent of times when our tongues have been silent – despite the invitation to celebrate Your praises – because we lacked the heart to do so! Amen.

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