Worship and Warning

Psalm 95
1Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
5The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
6Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,
8do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
9when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10For 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.”
11Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”

It is fitting that we should read a call to worship on Friday. It is already time to start preparing our hearts and minds for Sunday morning and time of dedicated focus on the Lord. If you are part of a liturgical church, you probably recognize these words as a part of the liturgy. They are recitable and memorable. One cannot miss the joyful spirit with which the first seven verses are spoken. They beckon one into the presence of God and we want to respond with that praise to which we are invited.

I won’t skip mentioning the last four verses though. In this joyous invitation, there also lies a warning. We are reminded of our amazing capacity to go our own way and reject God. The Children of Israel repeatedly rejected God and His mercy even after witnessing His miracles in the desert. Lest we tsk our tongue at them let’s remember that we too are more than capable of throwing away opportunities to serve God and live obediently to Him. God promised the Children of Israel that if they chose to reject Him, they would not enter The Promised Land and He kept that promise!

For today, I am giving my attention to the well-worn and much loved words of this psalm and letting it invite me into God’s presence on Sunday morning to worship Him as my King!