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The Greatness of God

 AN EXPOSITION OF PSALM 95

This Psalm has no historical title associated with it, which allows a measure of freedom to name it. The authorship of the Psalm is more certain. Paul quotes this Psalm in Hebrews 4:7 and ascribes it to David. “Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

The message of the Psalm begins with a great invitation to come and worship. “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.” Other nations sing unto their gods, let us sing unto Jehovah. We love the LORD, we admire Him, and we reverence Him, so let us express our feelings with joyful sounds since the LORD is the Rock of our salvation.

“We have heard the joyful sound:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Bear the news to every land,
climb the mountains, cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Give the winds a mighty voice:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Let the nations now rejoice:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Shout salvation full and free;
highest hills and deepest caves;
This our song of victory:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”

Priscilla J. Owens

As the Psalmist sings, he invites others to join him in praise and to magnify the Lord. However, the Psalmist is careful to include himself because he wants to set a worthy example. The Bible commands Christians to be an example to others. “in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12) The reason why gospel exhortations are needed is because it is easy to let others take our faith from us by degrees. Beware of any relationship, and any friendship, that diminishes your spirituality.

God has a geographical will for our life on any given day, but someone does not want to go where the Spirit leads. They will draw us away from the place that our heart longs for and where God would have us to be in an appointed hour of worship, study, or service.

God has a linguistic will for our life, but someone else mocks our religious conversation in order to draw us away.

God has an occupational will for our lives, but someone else has other plans for our lives. More than one man has wanted to be a minister of the gospel, but their sweetheart was opposed. More than one young lady was headed for the mission field, until they met the man of their dream who changed their lives forever resulting in hidden sorrows and secret regrets.

More often than not, the non-Christian, and the nominal Christian will persuade the more devout believer to give up all, or a portion of their faith, or their holy habits. Why? Because of the principle of taking the path of least resistance.

Nevertheless, let the gospel exhortation go forth. Be careful of anyone who resists going where you know you should go, and being where you know in your heart God would have you to be. Individuals have a will, and they can be difficult, and even pride themselves on being obstinate.

People from Missouri pride themselves on being “The Show Me” state. The slogan is credited to a U. S. Congressman from Missouri, Willard Duncan Vandiver. During a speech in Philadelphia in 1899 he said: “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” The slogan is now used to describe the character of people from Missouri and to tell all others they are not gullible. They are conservative, and unwilling to believe without adequate evidence.

All that is well and good in anyone, as long as it does not lead to a diminishment of spirituality. Be thou an example. Follow those who are following the Lord. Charles Spurgeon once said that there is not a person on earth worth going to hell for. With the Psalmist, I plead with you. Do not let anyone take away your faith by small degrees.

Again, be an example, and then, encourage others to come, and study and worship the Lord. Say with the Psalmist, “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”

The “Rock of our salvation” reminded the children of Israel of a difficult time in the wilderness. The Exodus Generation had left the Land of Bondage. Their travels brought them to a place where there was no water. What was to be done? Based on God’s instruction, a rock was smitten, and from its crevice poured forth cooling streams of water. The people were saved. Their thirst was quenched. In like manner, we as Christians know Jesus as our Rock of Salvation. He too was smitten according to Divine design, and from His side flowed blood mingled with life giving water.

“There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.

Lose all their guilty stains,
lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away,
washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he,
washed all my sins away.”

William Cowper

“Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” (Psalm 9:2)

In Psalm 95:3, the Psalm affirms that the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

It is true. Therefore, behold our great God.

God is Eternal. God exists forever, meaning He has no beginning or end. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalm 90:2)

God is Holy. “To say that God is holy is to say that He is eternally separate and distinct from all impurity. The term holiness in Hebrew, qodesh, has the notion of separation, of uniqueness, of one-of-kindness as it were.” (Bruce Ware) “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8)

God is Immutable, or Unchanging. This means that God never changes in His essence or who He is. Nor does He change His promises. “For I am the LORD, I change not.” (Mal. 3:6) “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.” (Heb. 6:17)

God is Impassable. God is without passions. God is not overwhelmed by any emotion. He is not incapacitated, or weakened or stifled by any event or any amount of grief or love. Rather, God is totally self-controlled. While God does grieve, and does passionately love, He does so completely on purpose.

God is Infinite. God is not subject to any of the limitations of humanity or His creation.

God is All powerful. He can exercise dominion over the entire universe, carry out the purposes of His wisdom, govern the hearts of men, and even create things out of nothing. The Bible says that God works “all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Eph. 1:11) He is omnipotent.

God is Every-where Present. He is omnipresent. “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” (Jer. 23:24)

God is spirit. God has no physical form. He is present everywhere in that everything is immediately in His presence. At the same time He is present everywhere in the universe. No one can hide from Him, and nothing escapes His notice.

God is All-wise. God has all wisdom. He works everything out for the good of His people, and for the display and enjoyment of His glory. Nothing is too hard for Him. Nothing can frustrate, confuse, or surprise Him. In His wisdom, God has a plan which is eternally decreed. God declares “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isa. 46:10)

God is Simple. The simplicity of God means that God is a unified being. He is one in essence. While humans are composed of matter and spirit, God is not composed of a variety of substances. We can worship God as the unchanging God. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Num. 23:19)

There are many other important attributes about God, such as His Goodness, His Love, His Graciousness,
His Mercy, His Justice, His Sovereignty, His Freedom, and His Self-sufficiency. Together, all the attributes affirm what the Psalmist said, “The LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”

“Oh, worship the King,
all glorious above.
Oh, gratefully sing
His power and His love;
Our shield and defender,
The Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor
And girded with praise.

Oh, tell of His might;
Oh, sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light,
whose canopy space;
His chariots of wrath
The deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path
On the wings of the storm.

Frail children of dust,
And feeble as frail,
In You do we trust,
Nor find You to fail;
Your mercies,
How tender,
How firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender,
Redeemer and Friend!”

William Croft

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