MEANINGFUL WORSHIP TO GOD
Rev Dr Devadosan Sugirtharaj
Psalm 95 is one of the psalms quoted in the New Testament especially in Hebrews.3:7-14. In Hebrews 4:7, it is said that it is the Psalm of David.
Section 1: Ways in Worship the Lord. 95:1-7a
- Invocation Praise to God. Psalm.95:1-2
Worship has different forms and ways. The psalmist defines that worship is the way of honouring God. We do this through singing songs. Singing is not the only way to worship the Lord but it is an important way. As the people of God, we worship the Lord and exalt his name. These words are the invocation praise to God in the Temple worship in Israel. These words are used to inform the people that they come and worship the Lord in his holy presence.
- Praises of Adoration to God. Psalm .95:3-5
Worship is the place we bring our adoration to the Lord. The adoration of God comes from our deep understanding of God. God is awesome and great. He helps us in our daily life. His names are beyond our comprehension. His greatness is immeasurable in our thinking. He is the only God and others are idols. He owns everything in creation. Praising God in the worship brings the greatness and awesome nature of God.
- Worship the Lord. Psalm.95.6-7a.
Worship is the place we humble ourselves and bow down before him. Once we enter the presence of God, we acknowledge that we are his creation and we kneel in the attitude of complete submission and obedience. Worship the Lord comes from deep reverence to God. There are three verbs used in verse 6 to understand adoration and they are such as: Let us prostrate ourselves, Let us bow down, Let us kneel and worship the Lord.
Section 2: Warnings in Worship the Lord. Psalm 95:7b-11
- Warning to those who reject Worship. Psalm 95:7b-9
The psalmist exhorts us to act and hear the voice of the Lord in the midst of our worship. God speaks to the worship in the context of worship and invites us to listen to him. This word of warning is mentioned in the book of Hebrews: Hebrews 3:7,15,4:7. This invitation to listen to God is mentioned with urgency as mentioned today. The reference of Meribah was mentioned in Numbers 20:1-13 where the people of Israel did not accept the voice of the Lord due to their unbelief and died in the wilderness. They tested God by their unbelief and eventually deserved the punishment. The psalmist warns us that we should not be like them.
- Warning to those who reject to listen to God in Worship. Psalm.95:10-11
The Psalmist recalls the history of the people of Israel in the wilderness especially their forty years of life there and how their unbelief made them to wander around the forty years. Their hearts were not stuck with God, rather they rejected God’s ways and works and lost to have rest in the land of the promised land. This reflection warns us that we should listen to God in the context of worship when we do and it is a solemn warning to us that we should take God's grace for granted.
Worship is one of God’s gifts to us. It comes out of our love for God. We acknowledge God’s greatness in worship and also we humble before him and worship him. Worship is the combination of affirming God’s awesome nature and also praise and worship. God speaks to us in worship and we are called to listen to him. We have to learn the lesson from the lives of the people of Israel and we should not harden our hearts to his voice today.