Monday, November 30, 2009

11/30/09 - Psalm 95- Worship the King even in tough times

(Calvin preaching at St. Pierre)

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

Psalm 95

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7 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, 8 "Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 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.' 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'"
Calvin abridged: This Psalm exhorts the people of God to praise Him in worship together, giving two grounds why God should be praised; first that he sustains us by his power in the world which he created, and second that he has adopted the Church into a gracious relationship with himself. At the same time, he encourages us to be sincere, serious and devoted in service, and to show by the way they live that they were not chosen in vain. That they may guard against hypocrisy, he mentions that their fathers were stubborn and ungrateful to God from the beginning. He reminds them of the punishment inflicted on them, so that we will be deterred from following in their footsteps.
Thoughts: “O worship the King all glorious above, O gratefully sing His power and His love.” This great Psalm calls us to come and worship the Lord who is King of all that is made. He has created the kingdom, and He rules over the kingdom. The world is in his hands, and as his people we are in his hands as the great shepherd watching over us- to guard us, protect us, care for us. It makes no sense to rebel against such a wonderful king, but people have done it before. We are in the midst of a full scale rebellion today. We put ourselves in the king’s place, instead of recognizing we are stewards of the king. Exodus 17:1-7 tells the story of the Israelites rebellion against the king at Meribah (which means “quarreling”) and Massah (which means “testing”). There was not enough water, and they did not trust God to provide for them, so they rebelled, wanting to go back to Egypt. Can you imagine wanting to go back to Egypt when God had delivered them by the ten plagues, the Passover, through the Red Sea, and the destruction of the Egyptian army that was following them? It is amazing that people forget how powerless the false gods are, and how powerful our own God is. Yet we live in a day in which we have been blessed perhaps more than any other time in the history of the world (think air conditioning, cars, jets, abundant food and clothing, relatively free from war on our shores), but we still have not had enough. We need to come back to the King and trust in Him even when times are hard (as indeed they were at Meribah and Massah- and as they are harder today than they were two years ago).

Prayer: Help us, O King, to come before you in worship, and praise you with our whole hearts.

No comments:

Post a Comment