HURRY UP AND REST
Lord, I hear Your voice today, and I submit.
Read 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,[a]
as you did that day at Massah[b] 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.’”
a Psalm 95:8 Meribah means quarreling.
b Psalm 95:8 Massah means testing.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Meditate on John Stott’s words: “Not until we grasp who the Lord is, are we inwardly moved to worship Him” (Angus Hudson, Favorite Psalms, 1988, p83). Pray, “Open my eyes, Lord, to see your glory.”
The priest or Levite author of this psalm longs for God’s people Israel to heed His commands and enter the rest that He has promised them. For them the rest means safety within secure borders, free from invasion and internal disasters (1 Kings 5:4). But for us, so much more. The writer of Hebrews (Heb 3:18 – 4:11) uses this psalm to describe the rest that is ours in Christ. Thus, we can cease from striving to establish our own righteousness, trusting His work on our behalf. In both cases, the key to the rest lies within the psalm – adoration, surrender, hearing God’s voice, and obedience.
Worship is not always demonstrable, though it can be: as Timothy and Kath Keller put it in My Rock, My Refuge (Hodder & Stoughton, 2015, p235), “When the love of the immeasurably great and transcendent God of the universe becomes real to us, the joy should be uncontainable.” When the psalmist moves from adoration to surrender, he points to an irreplaceable element of worship. Bowing down and kneeling may not be common in most churches today, but they reflect an attitude that is vitally important. Submission to God and confession of His lordship over us embodies worship and enables us to hear His voice.
Hebrews directs this psalm to contemporary Christians: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb 4:7). Hearing God must produce obedience if His Word is to be effective in our lives. Only then will we be fully able to rest in the peace, assurance, and joy of knowing what Christ has achieved for us at the cross and knowing that we are truly forgiven.
“I am weary with … my fears, my drives, my need for approval and control. I need the deep peace … when I … rest in your Son’s finished work of salvation” (Keller, ibid, p237).
Lord, Your people long to demonstrate our love for You by our acts of worship, which betoken our full submission to Your lordship.
Book and Author Intros
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.