Part 5 - Resting by Faith
Joy in Fellowship
There is a great contrast in Psalm 95. This is the contrast of the first half of the psalm with the second half. The second half is that of unbelief in the Creator. This is the part that the writer to the Hebrews quoted to warn against unbelief. The first half however shows the joy and rest of those who consider the Creator and His works. The first half shows the result of faith in the Creator and Redeemer, the second half the result of unbelief in the Creator.
Confidence and rejoicing
Psalm 95 begins with these verses: "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods" (Ps. 95:1-3).
The writer to the Hebrews had said that we are of Jesus' house "if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end" (Heb. 3:6). The first part of Psalm 95 shows the confidence and rejoicing of those who have faith in the Creator and Redeemer. "Let us sing," "Let us shout joyfully," "Let us come . . . with thanksgiving," and "Let us shout joyfully . . . with psalms" shows the rejoicing of those who delight in the Creator. He is Yahweh and the "Rock of our salvation."
These calls to rejoice in Yahweh are not calls to generate an empty rejoicing - they are the natural response of one who is overwhelmed by the greatness and goodness of God. The person and being of Yahweh is glorious, and those who come to know Him cannot but express praise and great joy in His presence.
Glory in the riches of God's being
God's being is glorious, and in this alone He is worthy of praise and worship. He is "the great God, And the great King above all gods." Mankind fell when he rejected this and put himself in God's place. In redemption one is brought back into a rightful subjection to Yahweh as the great God and great King. The focus in a right relationship with God is in Him alone. It is centered on who God is and what He has done, not on who the believer is or the believer's works. This is shown in the psalms: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together" (Ps. 34:1-3).
Moses asked God what His name was. Scripture records, "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And He said, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you" ' " (Exodus 3:14). Yahweh is the Self-Existent One. This sets Him apart from all else, establishes Him as being holy as none other, and is the reason He has a glory that is incomparable. He is worshipped in Heaven as such: "The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!' " (Rev. 4:8). Isaiah refers to God as the "High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy" (Isaiah 57:15). God had no beginning and will have no end. He is the ultimate cause of all things. He can only describe Himself as "I AM WHO I AM."
The glory of God's being is not just that He is the Supreme Being - it is also in His character. Psalm 113 declares, "Who is like the Lord our God, Who dwells on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in the heavens and in the earth? He raises the poor out of the dust, And lifts the needy out of the ash heap, That He may seat him with princes; With the princes of His people" (Ps. 113:5-8). God's characteristics of lovingkindness, compassion, and mercy set Him apart from all others. Jeremiah records, "Thus says the Lord: 'Let not the ... rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness ... in the earth' " (Jer. 9:23-24).
Fellowship with God
The psalmist wrote, "In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11). Just the act of being in God's presence and beholding His glory is cause for fullness of joy. Fullness and satisfaction are found in fellowship with God, for "At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Again the psalmist declares, "For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Ps. 84:10).
It is the recognition of who God is that forms the basis for the opening
statements of Psalm 95: "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout
joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with
thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the
great God, And the great King above all gods."