Psalm 95:1

PSALM 95 OVERVIEW.

This Psalm has no title, and all we know of its authorship is that Paul quotes it as "in David." ( Hebrews 4:7 .) It is true that this may merely signify that it is to be found in the collection known as David's Psalms; but if such were the Apostle's meaning it would have been more natural for him to have written, "saying in the Psalms;" we therefore incline to the belief that David was the actual author of this poem. It is in its original a truly Hebrew song, directed both in its exhortation and warning to the Jewish people, but we have the warrant of the Holy Spirit in the epistle to the Hebrews for using its appeals and entreaties when pleading with Gentile believers. It is a psalm of invitation to worship. It has about it a ring like that or church bells, and like the bells it sounds both merrily and solemnly, at first ringing out a lively peal, and then dropping into a funeral knell as if tolling at the funeral of the generation which perished in the wilderness. We will call it THE PSALM OF THE PROVOCATION.

Division. It would be correct as to the sense to divide this psalm into an invitation and a warning so as to commence the second part with the last clause of Psalms 95:7 : but upon the whole it may be more convenient to regard Psalms 95:6 as "the beating heart of the psalm," as Hengstenberg calls it, and make the division at the end of Psalms 95:5 . Thus it will form

  1. an invitation with reasons, and
  2. an invitation with warnings.

EXPOSITION

Verse 1. O come, let us sing unto the LORD. Other nations sing unto their gods, let us sing unto Jehovah. We love him, we admire him, we reverence him, let us express our feelings with the choicest sounds, using our noblest faculty for its noblest end. It is well thus to urge others to magnify the Lord, but we must be careful to set a worthy example ourselves, so that we may be able not only to cry "Come", but also to add "let us sing", because we are singing ourselves. It is to be feared that very much even of religious singing is not unto the Lord but unto the car of the congregation: above all things we must in our service of song take care that all we offer is with the heart's sincerest and most fervent intent directed toward the Lord himself.

Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. With holy enthusiasm let us sing, making a sound which shall indicate our earnestness; with abounding joy let us lift up our voices, actuated by that happy and peaceful spirit which trustful love is sure to foster. As the children of Israel sang for joy when the smitten rock poured forth its cooling streams, so let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. The author of this song had in his mind's eye the rock, the tabernacle, the Red Sea, and the mountains of Sinai, and he alludes to them all in this first part of his hymn. God is our abiding, immutable, and mighty rock, and in him we find deliverance and safety, therefore it becomes us to praise him with heart and with voice from day to day; and especially should we delight to do this when we assemble as his people for public worship.

"Come let us to the Lord sing out
With trumpet voice and choral shout."
it becomes us to praise him with heart and with voice from day to day; and especially should we delight to do this when we assemble as his people for public worship.
"Come let us to the Lord sing out
With trumpet voice and choral shout."
it becomes us to praise him with heart and with voice from day to day; and especially should we delight to do this when we assemble as his people for public worship.
"Come let us to the Lord sing out
With trumpet voice and choral shout."

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Whole Psalm. -- These six psalms, 95 to 100, form, if I mistake not, one entire prophetic poem, cited by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews, under the title of the Introduction of the First Born into the world. Each Psalm has its proper subject, which is some particular branch of the general argument, the establishment of the Messiah's Kingdom. The 95th Psalm asserts Jehovah's Godhead, and his power over all nature, and exhorts his people to serve him. In Psalm 96th all nations are exhorted to join in his service, because he cometh to judge all mankind, Jew and Gentile. In the 97th Psalm, Jehovah reigns over all the world, the idols are deserted, the Just One is glorified. In the 98th Psalm, Jehovah hath done wonders, and wrought deliverance for himself: he hath remembered his mercy towards the house of Israel; he comes to judge the whole world. In the 99th, Jehovah, seated between the cherubim in Zion, the visible Church, reigns over all the world, to be praised for the justice of his government. In the 100th Psalm, all the world is called upon to praise Jehovah the Creator, whose mercy and truth are everlasting. --Samuel Horsley.

Whole Psalm. -- This Psalm is twice quoted in the Epistle to the Hebrews, as a warning to the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem, in the writer's day, that they should not falter in the faith, and despise God's promises, as their forefathers had done in the wilderness, lest they should fail of entering into his rest; see 3:7 , where verse 7 of this Psalm is introduced with the words, "As the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice," and see 4:7 , where it is said, "Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today." It has by some been inferred from these words that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews ascribes this Psalm to David. It may be so. But it seems not improbable that the words "in David" mean simply "the Book of Psalms," the whole being named from the greater part; and that if he had meant that David wrote the Psalm, he would have written, "David spake," or, "the Holy Ghost spake by David," and not as it is written, "as it is said in David." --Christopher Wordsworth.

Verse 1. -- O come, let us sing unto the Lord, etc. The first verse of the Psalm begins the invitation unto praise and exultation. It is a song of three parts, and every part (like Jacob's part of the sheep) brings forth twins; each a double string, as it were, in the music of this praise, finely twisted of two parts into a kind of discordant concord, falling into a musical close through a differing yet reconciled diapason. The first couple in this song of praise are multitude and unity, concourse and concord: "O come", there's multitude and concourse; "let us," there's unity and concord. The second twisted pair, are tongue and heart, "let us sing," there's the voice and sound; and "heartily rejoice," there's the heart and soul. The third and last intertwisted string, or part in the musick, is might and mercy, (rock or) strength and salvation; God's strength and our salvation: "to the strength (or rock) of our salvation." --Charles Herle (1598-1659) in a "Sermon before the House of Lords", entitled, "David's Song of Three Parts".

Verse 1. -- Come. The word "come" contains an exhortation, exciting them to join heart and lips in praising God; just as the word is used in Genesis, where the people, exciting and encouraging each other, say, "Come, let us make bricks;" and "Come, let us make a city and a town;" and, in the same chapter, the Lord says, "Come, let us go down, and there confound their tongue." --Bellarmine.

Verse 1. -- If it be so that one "come, let us" goes further than twenty times go and do, how careful should such be whom God hath raised to eminence of place that their examples be Jacob's ladders to help men to heaven, not Jeroboam's stumbling blocks to lie in their way, and make Israel to sin. --Charles Herle.

Verse 1. -- There is a silent hint here at that human listlessness and distraction of cares whereby we are more prompt to run after other things than to devote ourselves seriously to the becoming praises and service of God. Our foot has a greater proclivity to depart to the field, the oxen, and the new wife, than to come to the sacred courts, Luke 14:18 , seq. See Isaiah 2:3 , "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord." --Martin Geier.

Verse 1. Joyful noise. The verb [yrh, signifies to make a loud sound of any sort, either with the voice or with instruments. In the psalms, it generally refers to the mingled din of voices and various instruments, in the Temple service. This wide sense of the word cannot be expressed otherwise in the English language than by a periphrasis. -- Samuel Horsley.

Verse 1. The rock of our salvation. Jesus is the Rock of ages, in which is opened a fountain for sin and uncleanness; the Rock which attends the church in the wilderness, pouring forth the water of life, for her use and comfort; the Rock which is our fortress against every enemy, shadowing and refreshing a weary land. --George Horne.

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 1. An invitation to praise the Lord.

  1. A favourite method of worship -- "let us sing."
  2. A fitting state of mind for singing -- joyful gratitude.
  3. A fitting subject to excite both gladness and thankfulness -- the rock of our salvation.

Verse 1. The rock of our salvation. Expressive imagery. Rock of shelter, support, indwelling, and supply -- illustrate this last by the water flowing from the rock in the wilderness.