Read | Psalm 95
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
Respond | Ryan Pearce
We have some control over our emotions, over our worship, and over our ability to hear God. The psalmist makes this clear: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord”. There are seasons in life where praise is spontaneous, and there are seasons where it is less so. For many of us, this is a season where we might find ourselves at the place of Meribah, the place of quarrelling. Or, we might find ourselves at Massah, the “testing” in the wilderness. We are likely cooped up, frustrated, confused, a bit scared, and just plain annoyed that this season has taken the drastic turn it has. Perhaps the silence is dredging up old memories you tried to forget or habits you thought were left in the past. Or maybe this hasn’t been a season of silence in your house, apartment, or room in someone else’s house; the other people’s noise threatens to drive you insane and their constant presence of others is draining you to your core.
Wherever the place we find ourselves, the Psalmist encourages us to step back, to choose to worship God and to forget ourselves in the midst of this season. Whatever place you find yourself, worship God out of it. Lament. Praise. Sing, dance, laugh, cry, speak, be silent— but for your heart’s sake, worship! This season will be one of the most shaping times of our life, so what if amidst the horror and pain the church made a conscious effort to remain in worship to God. For in worship we remember who we are and who God is. The comparison held in tension in this psalm is between those who remembered who God was, the Good Creator who is Faithful, and those who forgot who God is, and who needlessly hurt as a result. When we worship, root us in remembrance, and we all need to remember who God is amidst this season.