Reflections of the Psalms 95

Posted on: May 12th, 2024

One of the great blessings God has given all people is the emotion – the experience – of overwhelming joy. How desolate this life would be without these jewels of happiness! At such times, people will rejoice over many different things: an unexpected visit from a loved one, a last minute score in a close sporting event, the first steps or words of a small child. Countless events can result in great joy and happiness.
At such times, who, or what, receives the attention and thanksgiving? Who is the hero of the moment? Immediate events can overshadow the real source of joy and happiness. In verse 1, the Psalmist wrote, “O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.” The source of all goodness, joy and happiness is the Lord. Yet, how many times do people stop and turn to the true source of their joy? Oh, how God has blessed His people!
Promises, that are truly eternal in nature, come from the Lord God. In Christ Jesus, every Christian can approach the Living God and Supreme Creator with complete confidence. Through Christ, and with Christ, every Christian can look forward to the future with genuine anticipation. Of all people, Christians should experience joy on a frequent basis, and the natural reaction to joy is – songs of joy and happiness!
The Psalmist wrote, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” When people are happy, they will often sing or hum a song to themselves. A natural consequence of happiness is singing. It’s easy to tell when a small child is happy and content, because that little one will make happy sounds.
Unfortunately, singing in services is seen as “necessary” but not enjoyed. Many people sit in silence when songs are sung. Young people, who have truly beautiful voices, do not sing in services. Why? Such an attitude ignores the MOTIVE behind singing. Christians are saved people. In Christ, every Christian has hope now, help now, and a promised home for eternity. Sing for joy and not duty!
Hope and joy do not simply rest on promises. The Lord God has the power and authority to carry them out. Look at the world! Who made the mountains, the sea, and the land? If God can do that, then faith and trust in him is justified. How amazing! The Great, Living Creator of the Universe has a deep love for all people, and a special, individual love for those He has accepted as His children in Christ Jesus! Knowing this should bring joy, deep devotion and worship for the Living God, who can be called Abba, Father by His children.
The Psalm ends with a warning for those who do not hear or respond to the voice and will of the Lord. “Do not harden your hearts, as at a place of strife, as in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me, they tried Me, though they had seen My work. For forty years I loathed that generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways. Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest.”
It is not enough to say, “Oh yes, I am a Christian! I have a relationship with God.” The key element is a genuine, deep love for the Lord. A person in love will be filled with the object of that love. No action is too small; no sacrifice is too great for true, pure love. God demonstrated HIS love through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. What Father would allow his son to die in the place of one who deserved to die? The Lord God did that for every person – what love!
A person, who is a Christian, is a person who is in love with God. Jesus said that the first great commandment was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.” A person in love does not harden his, or her, heart, and a person in love does not try to “get by” with a minimal effort, A person in love WANTS to please the Lord, WANTS to serve Him and WANTS to share that treasure with others. “Have to” is not in the vocabulary of a person who is in love. Rather, that person will rejoice, sing for joy and bow down in worship to the King of kings and Lord or lords. A person in love will enter into the rest of God. (Jim Shelburn)