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Sermon: Worship the Great God, Psalm 95

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Worship the Great God 

Great worship for the great God

Psalm 95

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 24, In the year of our Lord, 2014

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Larry Amberg – Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah; Here I Am to Worship; Lord We Come Before Thee Now; We Bow Down


  1. What do you think of timid worship? 
    1. What does the Lord think of timid worship?
    2. Can you think of anything He has done for us?
      1. The time would fail us to speak of all that He has done for us.
      2. For one thing, He created us!
    3. What we can do in return is worship Him, and
      1. as Psalm 95 shows we can sing to Him, because
      2. as a father God loves to hear His children sing.
  2. Psalm 95 begins immediately with a reason for us to worship the Lord. 


  1. Psalm 95.1–2 – Worship Verbally

    1 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.
    1. The psalmist sounds as though nothing surpasses going to worship.
      1. Fill your heart with the Lord and
      2. worship shall flow out of you.
        1. You will not want to stop it, and
        2. you will want others to join you.
          1. Yes, there is a time for private worship, but
          2. when he who is filled with the Lord
            1. hears of an assembly of worship,
            2. that man or woman wants to be there!
    2. The psalmist used four exhortations to do the same thing.
      1. He used parallelism,
      2. which says the same thing with synonyms.
        1. Sing loudly and joyfully,
        2. expressing thanksgiving,
        3. using psalms.
    3. Sing to the Lord.
      1. Focus on Him.
      2. See Him in everything.
        1. You will then not be able to restrain yourself.
        2. You will not have to think of fulfilling James, you will just do it,

          13b Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms (Jam 5.13).
    4. Shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
      1. He is our unmovable source of salvation.
      2. Things change, people change,
        1. demonstrated by massive changes in American society right now, but
        2. the Lord abides the same forever.
    5. Come before His presence with thanksgiving.
      1. Consider James again,

        17 Every good gift and every perfect [act of giving] is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (Jam 1.17).
      2. You will shout enthusiastically with James, and
        1. when you hear the invitation to go before the presence of the Lord
        2. to give Him thanks, you may say,
          1. where is it taking place,
          2. when will it begin,
          3. can I invite anyone to come with me!
    6. Shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
      1. Use the Book of Psalms.
      2. We already heard James say it.
        1. Now listen to Paul, and
        2. it sounds like he had read Psalm 95,

          19 …speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… (Eph 5.19–20).

          16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Col 3.16).

          2. Psalms from Belfast
    7. I cannot think of any activity on Earth
      1. that supersedes singing to the Lord.
      2. Other activities might equal it, but
        1. does any of it truly rank above it?
        2. He created us.
          1. Many songs acknowledge that in one way or another.
          2. So how can you beat singing to our Creator?
    8. Praise the Lord
      1. that He gave us the ability to make music,
      2. that He gave us the ability to sing,
      3. that He gave us the ability to hear!
        1. Therefore, since the psalmist told us twice to shout joyfully,
        2. raising our voices as much as we can.
  2. Psalm 95.3 – Worship the Great God

    3 For the Lord is the great God,
    And the great King above all gods.
    1. This is why we sing loudly and joyfully, expressing thanksgiving, with psalms.
    2. The Lord is the great God.
      1. Do you believe that He is the great God?
      2. Let it be known through your joyful and powerful singing.
    3. The Lord is the great King above all gods.
      1. Do you believe that He is the great King above all gods?
      2. Let it show with your acknowledgement that He is your Rock.
    4. This is not a feel-good exercise.
      1. This fulfills our purpose for living, because
      2. we have been made to praise Him.
  3. Psalm 95.4–5 – Worship the Creator

    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.
    1. If He is the great God, if He is the great King above all gods, then
      1. He holds the deep places of the Earth in His hand,
      2. He own the heights of the hills,
      3. He possesses the sea, since He made it, and
      4. His hands formed the dry land!
    2. Do not fall for the lie that everything you see came into being on its own.
      1. Both creationists and evolutionists teach
      2. that something massive produced the Earth, but you choose between
        1. mindless, purposeless evolution, or
        2. planned creation.
          1. If you choose the latter,
          2. sing to your Creator and worship Him.
  4. Psalm 95.6 – Worship Bodily

    6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
    1. How can we not worship Him?
      1. How can we not bow down before Him?
      2. How can we not kneel before the Lord who made us?
    2. The psalmist has shown us thus far that
      1. with our hearts,
      2. with our lips, and
      3. with our bodies,
        1. we put our whole self into worshiping the God of heaven.
        2. Bow your head, bend your knee, fall down prostrate, and
          1. worship the Lord, because
          2. as the psalmist said, the Lord is our Maker.
  5. Psalm 95.7–11 – Worship as Obedient Sheep

    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.’”

    1. He is our God.
      1. That makes us
        1. the people of His pasture,
        2. the sheep of His hand.
      2. That makes Him
        1. the Shepherd,
        2. the Creator.
          1. Have you seen how sheep are with their shepherds?
          2. They listen to Him and follow Him everywhere.
    2. In John 10, Jesus declared these things,

      2 “He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10.2–4).

      14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10.14).

    3. Therefore, when we hear His voice,
      1. let us not harden our hearts.
      2. The last line of verse 7,
        1. changes the tone of the Psalm,
        2. going from encouraging invitations
          1. to sing and to worship
          2. to severe warnings of failing to heed the voice of our Shepherd.
            1. He created us,
            2. He can destroy us.
      3. The sheep exist for the shepherd.
        1. Therefore, we exist for Him.
        2. If we think He exists for us,
          1. we will not listen to Him, and
          2. that will bring on wrath.
    4. Israel did not listen
      1. during what we call the wilderness wanderings,
      2. but which He calls The Rebellion.
        1. They tested the Lord.
        2. They put Him on trial.
    5. They saw His work, but
      1. did not believe Him and
      2. did not listen to Him.
    6. Therefore, although He saved them from Egypt,
      1. He destroyed them in the wilderness, because
      2. they thought He existed for their sakes,
        1. that is why they tested Him and tried Him.
        2. Listen to them,

          4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” (Num 11.4–6).

          17 But they sinned even more against Him
          By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.
          18 And they tested God in their heart
          By asking for the food of their fancy.
          19 Yes, they spoke against God:
          They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
          20 Behold, He struck the rock,
          So that the waters gushed out,
          And the streams overflowed.
          Can He give bread also?
          Can He provide meat for His people?” (Psa 78.17–20)

      3. They thought the Lord existed to hear them,
        1. so that when they placed an order,
        2. they expected immediate results.
          1. The psalmist said, No,
          2. the Lord speaks and we listen to His orders.
    7. Israel grieved the Lord for forty years by not listening to Him.
      1. They went astray in their hearts.
      2. They did not know His ways.
        1. That moved Him to swear in His wrath,
        2. that they would not enter His rest.
          1. And they did not,
          2. except for Joshua and Caleb.
    8. Hebrews 3 and 4 uses Psalm 95 to warn us also,
      1. that we not harden our hearts through unbelief, otherwise,
      2. we will not enter the Lord’s rest.


  1. Open your Bibles to Hebrews 3
    1. The writer said in verse 6,
      1. that Jesus is over His house, and
      2. that we are His house,

        6 if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end (Heb 3.6).
    2. He then quoted the Holy Spirit,
      1. starting in verse 7 with the last line of Psalm 95.7 through verse 11.
      2. Hebrews 3.7–11 is Psalm 95.7–11.
    3. He continued to apply Psalm 95 to us,

      12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,  15 while it is said:

      “Today, if you will hear His voice,
      Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

      16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief (Heb 3.12–19).

      1. If God did not spare the people He delivered out of Egypt by Moses,
      2. what about the people He delivered from sin by His Son?
  2. Hebrews 4 shows He will not spare us either. 
    1. Four more times the writer quoted Psalm 95,
    2. showing that now we seek,
      1. not rest in the Land of Canaan, but
      2. the rest coming in heaven.
  3. Today, the Lord calls you to follow Him. 
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