Obeying the Call to Worship
Learning a Lesson from Psalm 95
by Joanne Troppello
I’ve been reading through the Book of Psalms for my daily devotional reading. Today, I read Psalm 95, A Call to Worship and Obedience. This Psalm brings the reader’s attention to the Kingship of God as ruler of Heaven and Earth. It begins with a call to sing to the Lord and shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. 4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. 5 The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh 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 you will hear His voice: 8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me;They tried Me, though they saw My work. 10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation,And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,And they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath,‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” – Psalm 95 (NKJV)
Thanksgiving, Praise, and Worship
Verse 2 in this Psalm urges the reader to come before His presence with thanksgiving.
I belong to the writer’s platform, Medium.com. I read an article (When Licking the Plate is the Most Exciting Part of Your Day: It Means You’ve Got a Pretty Happy Life, by Kristi Keller) there earlier today where the writer urged her readers to learn from the lesson of dogs—and become more grateful in their lives.
She wrote, “Dogs carry out the most mundane tasks with so much fervor that I wish my life could be so simple and exciting…in a dog’s life, any time is happy time…We humans could and probably should learn a thing or two about gratitude from dogs.”
Now, I don’t have a dog. We live in a rental and are not permitted to have pets. I had two cats in my twenties, but in recent years have become allergic and can’t be around cats and cat fur etc.
I’m allergic to dogs, except for those that are hypoallergenic like my mom’s two dogs (Shih Tzus), Jake and Toby. When we move to our new home in the future, I plan on getting a dog, although I’m not sure which kind yet.
Now that I’ve veered off on a rabbit trail, let’s get back on track.
I love how verse two urges readers to come into God’s presence with thanksgiving. It doesn’t say come into His presence with complaining, anxiety, or any other emotion that you can feel.
Sure, God wants you to be real.
Be true to how you feel when you come to Him in prayer and worship. Yet, this Psalm is a gentle reminder to be thankful—especially when coming before the Lord.
This is something I’ve wrestled with my entire life. I am an emotional person. Even if you are not extremely adept at reading people, I’m sure you’d be able to read the emotions on my face since I always show how I feel in my expressions.
I love that I can come to God as I am—with everything that I’m feeling and be open about confessing my sin. Yet, it’s been a tough lesson to learn to be thankful for Him (and who He is) even through the difficulties.
This Psalm is not calling you to forget about your problems and pretend they don’t exist. The writer of Psalm 95 is simply urging you to focus on God and all His glory, being thankful for His excellent greatness and how He’s working in your life.
The older I get, the more I realize that thankfulness is a choice. It’s a mindset. I can choose to become better as I praise God through my difficulties. Or I can resist His call to thankfulness and become bitter through life and all my problems. I want to become better, not bitter.
Where are you on the better versus bitter scale?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.