Psalm 95: Joyful Noise
May 1, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The psalmist is calling us to sing, and to sing with joy (95:1-2). But why? What is it that should cause us to burst forth with songs of joy, to make a joyful noise? He gives two reasons and one consequence.
The first reason is “For the Lord is a great God” (95:3). He is the King above all other kings. He made everything—mountains and valleys, land and sea. Therefore, we are to praise God. So part of the reason to sing praise to God is simply that he is is so great!
The second reason is “For he is our God” (95:7). So not only is God great, he also is particularly our God. We are the people of his pasture the sheep of his hand. So not only are we to praise God because he is great, we are also to praise God because he cares for us. He knows. He looks after us. He shepherds us. So we are to praise God with joy because God is great and because God is our God.
And there is a consequence to these truths. “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (95:7-8). The reference to “Meribah” and “Massah” contextualizes this warning to Exodus 17. There, despite God’s people having experienced God’s extraordinary rescue of them from Egypt, they doubted that he could give them water to drink in the desert. So because God is great and because he is our God, we are to praise.
And the consequence of his greatness and his loving relationship with his people is that we are to trust him. When he speaks through his Word, we are to listen to it, trust it, and obey it. In particular, we are not to doubt that the God who rescued us through Jesus is able to provide for us and care for us through this sometimes troubled life.
And, as the Book of Hebrews applies this passage, this means preeminently that we are to trust Christ, who is God’s last Word to us (Hebrews 1:2; 3:7; 4:7). Would you, then, this morning praise God with joy? He is very great and he cares for you! Would you also then listen and trust what God is saying to you through his Word, preeminently to trust in Christ himself!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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