Psalm 95 - Joyful Worship or Hardened Hearts?

In the daily liturgical readings, this is the third day of reflecting on Psalm 95.

What strikes me about this Psalm is the joyful revelation of God’s greatness: The rock of salvation, a great God, a great King above all gods, the Creator, our Maker, the good shepherd.

Recently, I’ve meditated on the concept that God sustains every atom at every moment. As I think about my fingers, or the computer monitor, or the air I’m breathing, I remember: God made this, God sustains this, God is with me.

It feels like a very “thick” and almost overwhelming sense of God’s reality.

There are only two responses in the Psalm to the revelation of God: joyful worship or hardened hearts.

Scholars note that the Psalm abruptly transitions from one alternative to another.

Perhaps one reason is to viscerally challenge us to consider the dramatic opposition these two postures represent in our hearts.

As Beth Tanner in the NICOT commentary points out, in regards to Meribah,

One key phrase here is they tried me even though they had seen my deeds. This generation had been a witness to the power of the Creator God and the leading of the Shepherd King that provided sustenance in the wilderness, and their response was complaint and doubt.

The “evidence” of a Creator is superabundant, woven into every atom in Creation. How will we respond?

May it not be with fear, guilt, and shame - but exuberant, joyful, grateful worship! This God is our saving deliverer!

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