Psalms On Saturday ~ Psalm 95

Read carefully…

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years. Therefore, I was angry with this generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways”; As I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest” (Hebrews 3:7-11, NASB1995).

You might be thinking, “What is going on? I just read verses from the book of Hebrews and this Interruption is supposed to be on Psalm 95.”

An easy answer – Hebrews 3:7-11 quotes Psalm 95:7-11. Note a fun fact that I think the Spirit inspired: Psalm 95, verses 7 to 11, are the exact verses of Hebrews 3:7 to 11 and both passages were written hundreds of years before our Bibles had the verse numbering system used now.

With most Psalms, they follow a pattern of – praise, difficulty/doubt, and then resolution with the goodness of God. Psalm 95 follows a different path – praise, the goodness of God, and no resolution with continued difficulties through doubt.

Psalms 95 ends with…

Therefore, I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest (v. 11).

Psalm 95 depicts that the Israelite nation, though delivered from slavery in Egypt and witness to many miracles, would not enter the Promised Land. Out of fear, they had hardened their hearts to the goodness of God. 

What many who read both Psalm 95 and Hebrews 3 do not realize…

There are two locations known as Meribah in the Bible. There is Meribah/Massah where the Israelites, just out from Egyptian captivity, grumbled against God for their lack of water, and the Lord enabled Moses to strike a rock, out of which gushed water.

The second Meribah/Kadesh happened 40 years later, again finding the Israelites complaining about a lack of water. Moses, in frustration, claimed that he would give them water… yes, the water gushed… but because Moses touched the glory of God by claiming he would give them water…

Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land.

It’s dangerous to grumble against God. Sometimes the result is hardening of the heart (Israelites) and at other times we respond with compulsive reaction that makes the problem worse (Moses).

Unfortunately, a decision from doubt can keep us from the Promised Land. 

I’ve witnessed too many followers, having been born again and set free, leaving the faith when events didn’t work to their gratification. They now live a life of grumbling in frustration, rather than peace through His presence.

They stopped praising God. 

O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 

 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving (Psalm 95:1-2).

Whereas Psalm 95 ends with a proclamation that the Israelites would not enter His rest, Hebrews 3 continues with a different exhortation for us today…

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end (Hebrews 3:12-14).

The difference between a hardened and softened heart is praising God no matter the circumstances. 

Thankfulness, not grumbling!