Psalms 95

In many churches our time of worship begins with a "Call to Worship." The substance of what occurs during that time varies. Sometimes the choir will sing, occasionally there will be a special praise song presented, but most of the time, the congregation stands and sings of the wonders and love of God. The Call to Worship signifies to all in attendance that we have come to worship and now is when we start. In the book of Psalm, we find another call to worship, though not necessarily presented as a time to worship but rather as an opportunity to do so. Through the Psalmist, God issues an invitation for us to worship Him.

Who is to worship God? (Psalms 95:1-2)

The call to worship is simply "come." This is an exhortation could we be so bold as to say commanded) to assemble or congregate for the purpose of worship. The call goes out to the people of God - to "us." The text states "let us come." The place of worship to which we are invited to come is into the very presence of God. Psalms 95:2 says to come before His presence. The Psalmist is direct and inclusive. This invitation encourages us to begin with singing or rejoicing. Rejoicing is a natural outcome of the joy that is in our inner most being.

Not only are we to "sing and make melody in our hearts" (as Paul had encouraged the church at Ephesus to do) but the second part of the couplets of Psalms 95:1-2 shows that such singing and rejoicing is to be expressed aloud. When the religious leaders asked Jesus to silence his followers who lauded Him with praise and adoration at His entrance into Jerusalem, his response was "I tell you if these become silent, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:40) We, as the living church today, have the privilege of praise and worship and must not be content to allow the rocks to cry out or more accurately, be satisfied to give our opportunity to others. For those of us who know Jesus as our Savior, no one else can or should praise Him in our stead.

Worship format is much discussed and even debated today in religious circles. Abundantly obvious to any reader of this text is that the call is not a forum for discussion but rather an instruction on worship. We are also instructed with regard to whom our song is directed. In the first part of verse one we are told to sing to the LORD (Jehovah). In the second part of the verse He is identified as the Rock of our salvation. The realization that Jehovah is the strength (rock) of our salvation is motivation enough for the joy within us that overflows in expression of singing.

In these verses, the Psalmist mentions at least one other reason for praising the Lord. Not only are we to sing joyfully, but we are to sing aloud thankfully. Our expressions of praise and rejoicing should be with joy and thanksgiving and they should be done enthusiastically as evidenced by the repeated call to "shout" to the Lord.

Our God is Awesome (Psalms 95:3-5)

As if joy and thanksgiving were not enough, David moves on with an even more compelling reason to sing, praise and shout unto God - He is an awesome God.

First, He is a "Great God." His magnitude as God is awesome. He is extreme, vast, magnificent, and so much more that makes him indescribable. As if being a "Great God" were not enough, He is also a "Great King." This speaks of His rule and reign as King as well as His Kingdom. The Psalmist seems to have no other word to appropriately describe His Godhead and Kingship beyond "Great." (Psalms 95:3)