BIBLE STUDY. PSALM 95 (94) Come let us acclaim the Lord.
1. TYPE OF PSALM: Psalm of supplication and trust.
This psalm is the prayer of an exile from Jerusalem and far from the temple, who remembers with longing the happy days when he contemplated God in the sanctuary, seeing his strength and glory.
2. READ THE WORD.
Psalm 95 (94)
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.’”
What does the text say?
Verses (vv. 1-2). Since it is a hymn, it begins with an exhortation to sing and praise the Lord, in a solemn procession that enters the temple. God is compared to the "rock of salvation", the one that Moses struck in Exodus (17,1), and from which water gushed out to quench the thirst of the pilgrim people in the desert.
vv. 3-5. These verses indicate that only God is worthy to receive worship, because he created everything that exists, even the most unattainable, such as the depths of the earth and the tops of the highest mountains. Furthermore, Israel is the Lord's people, "the flock that he shepherds."
vv. 6-10. The last stanzas make a brief tour of the history of Israel. They open with an explicit wish for the people: "I hope they would listen today!" And listening goes along with an order: "Do not harden your heart", that is, do not be stubborn in your conduct, let yourself be guided by your pastor, who is God.
The people who enter the temple singing in thanksgiving at the Tents festival, must learn from the mistakes of their ancestors, who did not follow the paths of their Pastor. Without that meekness, you cannot enter the presence of God in the temple.
3. MEDITATE ON THE WORD. Does this reading say anything special to you?
This psalm invites us to change our attitude by coming to the temple, by presenting our gifts. Entering the house of God is cause for celebration and not for sadness, bad mood or boredom. Sunday is a holiday, a day to give thanks for what we have “harvested” on the days of the week.
4. PRAY WITH THE WORD. What do you say to God?
Help me Lord to learn from my personal history, not to make the mistakes of the past; help me to trust more in your protection and your protection. I thank you for the blessings I receive each day.
5. CONTEMPLATE THE WORD. How does your look change?
Let us not harden our hearts, let us not be fools, is the central invitation of this Psalm 94. Let us allow ourselves to be guided by the hand of the Lord and we will be safe. And, above all, let's learn from the mistakes of the past, so as not to repeat them.