Reading: Psalm 95
Today’s Psalm is an encompassing passage. It reminds us both of God’s gifts to us and of God’s power as well as reminding us of our human state – bowing to worship God at one moment, testing God at another. The cycle of obedience and disobedience is common to the Israelites and it is common to us.
When the chosen people are being faithful and obedient, regular worship is at the core of their daily life. They often walked in a close relationship with God. God was their Rock and they came to offer their thanksgiving. The people extolled God for creation and for the blessings in their lives. In this place, they felt they were “the flock under his care”. I feel the same way when my walk with God is faithful and obedient. When I am daily in the Word and when I am praying prayers that offer my repentance and thanks and that seek God’s will for my life, then I too feel God’s love and care surrounding me. When I am here, you’d think I’d stay forever.
Sheep tend to wander so they are a good choice. In the Psalm, the author refers to one of the many, many times that the Israelites tested God, one of the many times they were not obedient and faithful. This too is my pattern. Although living within God’s presence and protection is where the Israelites wanted to be and where I want to be, sin creeps in. We find ourselves testing and trying God. As Paul wrote in Romans 7:15, “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”. The power of the flesh is strong. It is a daily, and often hourly or minute by minute, battle to be obedient and faithful. It is a battle that we cannot win on our own. It is a battle that never ends.
Thanks be to God that He is faithful and that His love and mercy never fail. “Come, let us bow down in worship”. Let us confess our sins with our lips and find God’s forgiveness in our hearts. Let us offer our praise and thanksgiving! “Let us kneel before the Lord our maker”. In humble submission we bow, admitting our weakness, calling on God’s strength. We kneel before our God, grateful to be in God’s love and care, for we too are the sheep of His pasture.