This psalm is a call to worship the Lord. The psalm can be outlined into three distinct sections: Come to Worship (1-2), Reasons to Worship (3-7), and a Warning (7-11).
Come To Worship (1-2)
God calls us to come and worship him. God wants us to worship him. He wants us to sing to the rock of our salvation. Make a joyful noise as we praise the Lord. God does not merely want us to sing. As the apostle Paul would write to the Ephesians, God wants us to make melody in our hearts to the Lord. The strings of the heart are to be strummed. Singing is the outpouring of our heart to God, an expression of our praise and thanksgiving. When we suggest that we do not like singing or do not see the point in it we are going directly against God desire for us to sing praises to him. We are failing to grasp that song is the outflow of the heart. If singing is not flowing out from the heart then we are not worshiping the Lord.
We need to appreciate that we can even come into the presence of the Lord. We must recognize that it was the blood of His Son that allows us to be called into his presence to worship. Without the blood of Christ, we stand on the outside of the tabernacle of God, separated from the worship. With messianic hope we come into the presence of God and sing joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Reasons To Worship (3-7)
Why should we sing and worship God? Why should we come to worship the Lord? There are three reasons the psalmist gives for worshiping God. First, the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods. God deserves worship because of who he is. Second, we should worship God because all creation is his. God made everything. He owns in all, including us. Third, we must bow down and worship because we are sheep. He is OUR God. The first reason was that he is God. Now we are told that he is OUR God. We are the sheep in his pasture and we must listen to our shepherd.
The Warning (7-11)
The first seven verses describe a positive, upbeat thought of our need to worship God. “Come, let us sing to the Lord.” “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving.” There is a notable shift in the tone of this psalm in the last words of verse 7 through verse 11. A warning is given to the people.
You cannot worship God with an unbelieving heart. Be warned about having apathy toward worshiping God. Do not harden your hearts against God. Do not become uncaring about worshiping the Lord. He is a great God who owns all creation and we are his sheep. Do not be apathetic to these truths. Do not harden your hearts like the Israelites did in the wilderness. They put God to the test. They complained against the Lord and his provisions. They did not have hearts of worship and thankfulness. God swore in his wrath that they would not enter into God’s rest and they did not.
The writer of Hebrews quotes these verses four times in his sermon. The reason was to warn Christians to not fall into the same error as the Israelites did. Today is the day for action. Today is the day to not harden your heart. Today is the day to worship the Lord. “If you would only hear his voice today!” (Psalm 95:7; NLT) I fear our hearts have gone astray. We may fool others that we have given our hearts to God by coming to worship. But the look in our eyes and the lack of love in our actions reveal that our hearts have gone astray. We do not sing heartily and joyfully to the Lord. We do not listen to the message. We pass the bread and the cup of the Lord’s Supper without thinking about the death of our Lord. We think about other things during the prayer. Hear his voice today. Do not harden your hearts! The writer of Hebrews tells us that the rest still remains for us.
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. (Hebrews 4:1 ESV)
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:11–13 ESV)