<!doctype html>Editorial Preview
Worship and Obedience
A Call to Worship and Obedience
O 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.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
O 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.
O that today you would listen to his voice!
Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your ancestors tested me,
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they do not regard my ways.”
Therefore in my anger I swore,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
I imagine that Psalm 95 was a standard song of Israel. Perhaps it was one of those you sang every year at the Feast of Booths when the Israelites remembered their 40 years in the wilderness and God’s provision during those times. Maybe they sang it once a year the way Christian’s sing O Come All Ye Faithful during Advent. Or perhaps it was even more standard… Something they sang every week like the Doxology
It is not just a song about their history. This psalm is theology set to music. Here, God is portrayed as the frustrated shepherd of a rebellious flock. There is a warning, that rebellion is rewarded with permanent exile – that those who seek their own comfort apart from God’s will face an eternity removed from the comfort He is providing. Like the movie Groundhog’s Day, starring Bill Murray they will wander through a perpetual Monday, never making it to the weekend, until they actually do the work that is required of them each day. To the psalmist, the weekend off is not a divine right, it is a divine reward for a responsible work week.
I think you probably understand the concept of being obedient to God for the reward of entering into the rest He provides. What then is worship? Isn’t that just more work we are asked to do on our day off? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical of good to ask us to have a Sabbath day of rest and then spend it working for Him? Maybe.
Then again, maybe not. Why is worship work? Family dinners spent together require work. They are becoming a rarer phenomenon today, but even several hundred years ago it took a lot of harvesting, cleaning, prepping, and cooking to put together one meal for a small family of four or five people. Everyone had a job as part of it. Yet they did not see the meal itself as work, but as time for rest, nourishment, and celebration – even though they knew someone would have to do the dishes soon after.
They saw dinner as a celebration of the work they had done with God… and that is what I think worship is for us as well. It is res, nourishment, celebration, thanksgiving, … and work as well. It is a different kind of work though. On it we reflect on how faithful God has been to us and where we have been faithful to God. It is our family get- together.
Where do you worship?
What are you doing today that you can celebrate during your next time of worship?