“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms” (Ps. 95:1-2).
This psalm is both a song of adoration and admonition. The end of verse seven through the end of the psalm is quoted in Hebrews 3:7-11 to warn about the first generation of Israelites that did not remain faithful to God in the wilderness. Therefore, they did not enter into the promised land because of unbelief (cf. Heb. 3:19). Worship should greatly affect the way one lives and visa versa. Consider three things addressed in the beginning of Psalm 95 that makes worship and one’s walk of life a pleasure.
The Great Sovereign. The Holy Spirit declared, “For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods” (Ps. 95:3). All that may be called gods does not compare to the Lord. Isaiah stated of the Lord’s declaration to an unfaithful people, “I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King” (Isa. 43:15). While men sat on thrones within the nation and without, there is truly only one King, the Lord. When one looks at the church today, it can truly be said that Christ is our King (cf. 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 19:16). Ultimately, he will deliver up the kingdom to the Father (cf. 1 Cor. 15:24) and He will be “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28). When one is singing unto the Lord, there is none greater to pay homage. One may sing for the entertainment of the President of the United States or even a great head of State from a foreign country. No one compares to singing unto the Lord.
The Great Source. The psalm continues to declare, “In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker” (Ps. 95:4-6). These words paint the picture of God being the source of all creation as well as the majestic size of God in comparison to the creation. The concept of God being the Creator or Maker is explicitly repeated from Genesis (cf. Gen. 1) to Revelation (cf. Rev. 4:11). Matter is not eternal (fact from the laws of thermodynamics); therefore, the Supernatural brought about the natural (cf. Gen. 1:1). Besides the creation of all things, God is still in control of all things. His hands are so large that the deep places of the earth are said to be within one hand. The largest bodies of things like the deep, the sea, the hills and the dry land are all within his possession and care. How much more then are the people who dwell therein? The Father seeks that His creation worship Him (cf. John 4:23). All owe their existence and subsistence to Him.
The Great Shepherd. It is written, “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand” (Ps. 95:7a). Sheep are highly dependent upon the shepherd. How true is that of frail human beings to the infinite God! The early part of Psalm 23 would show how tender and kind is the Lord as a shepherd. Sheep are led, calmed and protected by their shepherd. Seeing that every good thing that has ever come to man has come through the Lord (cf. James 1:17), how should the worshipers sing unto Him? How should such appreciation affect the walk of every day living? David knew where his strength lay (cf. Ps. 18:1-2). The triumphant Lord is truly the song of the redeemed (cf. Ex. 15:2).
“King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:27-28).
Paul preached the truth to a man that was moved by the message but did nothing about applying it to his own life. The contents of the gospel are very compelling; however, people make all kinds of excuses for not obeying. Consider three common attitudes that hinder people from obeying the gospel.
Life Would Be Filled with Hardships and No Fun. People who are caught up in worldly pleasure as the substance of life do not realize what they are missing in the true happiness found in Christ. While it is true that the life of a Christian is difficult (cf. Matt. 7:14; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Peter 4:16), it is also true that suffering comes from a life of sin as well (cf. Prov. 13:15; 1 Peter 4:15). While sin has its pleasure for only a season (cf. Heb. 11:25), righteousness has its satisfaction in the life that now is (cf. 1 Tim. 4:15; 2 Thess. 1:7) and in the life to come (cf. Rev. 21:4). There is no real fun in shame (cf. Rom. 6:21) and in knowing that living in sin is living in death (cf. 1 Tim. 5:6). The life of the child of God is filled with joy, peace, confidence and all the good things that God provides for His children (cf. Rom. 2:7, 10). A righteous, moral life is filled with joy; the joy that really counts.
Love of Family and Friends Might End. While it is true that there are people who will not approve of obedience to God and all that such entails, love for the One who loves mankind the most is the perspective to keep. John wrote of real love, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Luke wrote of Jesus’ words concerning true commitment to such love, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). All must sanctify God above all (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). In addition, there have been people who were the first to obey the gospel in their family and circle of friends only to find that such led their family and friends to take a very serious look at the life of a Christian. Such a commitment also has stirred up people to learn and obey as well. The rich man in torments did not want his brothers to be where he was (cf. Luke 16:27-28). A true friend wants what is best for his companions in this life as well as in the one to come.
Letting Go of Certain Things is Too Tough. A certain young man who desired to have eternal life learned that his possessions meant more to him than going to heaven (cf. Matt. 19:16-22). Jesus said of the “thorny ground” hearer, “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14). The listing of the works of the flesh (cf. Gal. 5:19-21) is just a small sampling of things that people are not willing to let go to have “promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). Here is just another example of how sin blinds the mind (cf. 2 Cor. 4:3-4). All things are incomparable to the worth of the soul (cf. Mark 8:34-37). Eternal things far outweigh the temporal (cf. 2 Cor. 4:18-5:1).