Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Psalm 95:6-11 (ESV)

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.”

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. (Psalm 95:1-3)

The congregation is called. The music starts. Songs of praise rise up to the Lord, Our Great God and King, our Maker.

Psalm 95 starts with a joyful worship celebration and quickly shifts to a stern warning – Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts (verse 7b-8a).

In the days of Moses, God freed the Israelites from slavery, led them with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, fed them manna, and provided water in the wilderness. Instead of praising God, the Israelites complained and doubted that God was powerful enough to deliver them into the Promise Land. As a consequence for their stubbornness and unbelief, the Israelites were forces to wander in the desert for forty years.

A hardened heart results in delayed blessings.

Today, we are encouraged to learn from the Israelites. God is always working around us. To see and receive His blessings we must choose to soften our hearts and obediently submit to His sovereign authority over our lives.

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.   Hebrews 3:12-13

Today, open the eyes of our hearts, Great God, to see Your work in our lives.
Today, help us to obediently follow You. Amen.