Psalm Chapter 95: I will not harden my heart.

Unless otherwise stated all scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.

Context

The second of a series of Praise to YHWH Psalm 95 celebrate who He is and discusses the benefits of obedience to Him. (see also Psalm 93 96, 97, 98, 99). The psalmist appeals to the congregants to avoid the sin that the wilderness generation committed; thus, preventing them from entering into the promised land. This psalm is a call to obedience God that urges the congregation to follow Him.

I’m your protector

1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

If you ever wake up in the morning, or at some time during the day, and you have this huge urge to just worship in song, know that you are receiving an invitation from YHWH to spend time in worship with Him. This is exactly what was happening in verses 1-3 of this psalm. But here, the people are being implored to not just acknowledge the presence of YHWH among them. They are encouraged to accept the absolute protection that He provides for them. Nothing is more comforting than knowing that the huge rock that is covering you is your shelter from the blizzard that is outside. The word “rock” is a common metaphor for protection that is used in the psalms. (see Psalm18:2; 28:1–2). The psalmist continues to encourage the people to accept and embrace YHWH for who He is. He is a great and mighty God.

You are great God

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

Longman asserts that “The word for ( kî ) that opens the second stanza announces that the psalmist will give reasons for the congregation to worship God” (Longman 2014, 341).

There is no doubt in these verses that the psalmist is declaring that YHWH created everything that we see, feel, touch, taste, smell, and or may want to worship. Even the little “g” gods that we are creating for ourselves were made by Him. He created the great host of angels that some culture worship. He is the God of the whole universe. There is no geological representation (the mountains, seas, moon, etc.,). Psalm 18:7 on earth that He did not make. There is no location under the earth that does not bow down to Him. (See also Psalm 65:5). He owns the seas. He created Genesis 1;9-13. He even has the authority to tell the sea how far it should roll up on the land. “When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:” (Proverbs 8:29). Longman asserts that the seas represent chaos ( Ibid 341). Although YHWH is depicted as the mighty God and the creator of all things He is also our Shepherd.

Your Shepherd

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. 7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice,

Psalm 23 and Psalm 100 clearly show His relationship with His sheep. YHWH is more than our creator. Have you ever watched a movie about sheep and their shepherd? They only listen to their shepherd’s voice. (watch this video.

Sheep only listen to their Master’s voice. Who is your Master, my friends? Whose voice are you listening to?
When I got to verse 7, I thought about YHWH being our Shepherd. I began to think about the times that I watched sheep and their Shepherd on the hillsides of the UK. I remembered the animal husbandry teacher in school telling us that sheep will ONLY listen to their Shepherd’s voice? Watch this video. Look at what happens to the sheep when they hear their Shepherd’s voice. Jesus said, “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28 KJV). After listening to today’s sermon – it is below – I had to ask myself this question, “Who is my Shepherd? Who am I listening to? He is also our guide, our provider, and our Protector. We are the sheep of His beneficial, lush pasture. Watch this little movie again and think about your Shepherd. We have to rights to this movie.

He takes me to lush pastures,[a] he leads me to refreshing water.[b] He restores my strength.[c] He leads me down[d] the right paths[e] for the sake of his reputation.[f] Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,[g] I fear[h] no danger,[I] for you are with me; your rod and your staff reassure me.[j]

Psalm 23:2-4 NET

So, if we know all of that, why are we not willing to soften our approach to His deliverance? Why are our hearts so hardened? YHWH is even imploring us NOT to harden our hearts.

Do not harden your hearts

Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. 10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Verses 8-11 rehearses Israel’s past sins and their refusal to listen to YHWH.

Chided him: Even after He delivered them from the Egyptians, they thought he was going to allow them to die of thirst in the wilderness (see Numbers 20).13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.” In Exodus 17 the story is presented again. Longman defined the name Meribah. “Meribah, which means ‘quarreling’, and Massah, which means ‘testing’, were so named because of Israel’s reaction to God when they feared they would not have adequate water in the wilderness (Exod. 17:1–7; Num. 20:1–13).

Tempted Him: Examples of tempting Him Deuteronomy 6:16 – Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.   (Verses like Deuteronomy 6:16) | Psalms 78:41 – Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.   (Verses like Psalms 78:41) |Numbers 20:2-5 –

  1. No water And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!
  2. Death of animals? And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?
  3. No Food? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.   (Verses like Numbers 20:2) | Numbers 21:5 – And the people spake against God, and against Moses,
  4. No Bread Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.   (Verses like Numbers 21:5)
  5. No meat, fish, fruit, melons: We want to die Psalms 78:18 – And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.   (Verses like Psalms 78:18) Numbers 11:4-6 – And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: But now our soul has dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. 
  6. No life – No trust in God. Exodus 14:11-12 – And they said unto Moses Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
  7. We would rather die: Numbers 14:2 – And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!

When we whine and put ultimatums on the table we are tempting God. His word directs us NOT to do so. Matthew 4:7 – Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.   (Verses like Matthew 4:7) 1 Corinthians 10:9 – Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.   (Verses like 1 Corinthians 10:9) (Exodus 17:7; compare Deut. 6:16; 9:22; 33:8).

The end result of their distrust and whining was..

Verse 11 ‘Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Numbers 13-14

The promised land was waiting for them. But their fears overcame them. They forgot that YHWH was their “Big G” God. That generation could not enter into the promised land. Remain focused on the mission of The Great Commission. There is very little time left FOR US TO straddle the fence. True believers in Christ will be saved from the wrath to come. Make a decision today to love God in your heart and be saved.

.

References

Longman, III, Tremper. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary, InterVarsity Press, 2014. Google Books.

© You Are Not The Only One Ministries & Consulting Services Inc.,  All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise cited Written devotionals and posts on this page are the property of this ministry. You-Tube Videos are not the property of this ministry.

%d bloggers like this: