Psalms 95 Commentary

Psalms 95-96 God the creator of the universe

Six psalms, 95 to 100, are grouped so as to form a series for use in temple worship. The first psalm opens by calling people to worship God because he is the saviour (95:1-2), the great God (3), the creator and controller of the universe (4-5), the maker of the human race (6) and, above all, the covenant Lord and shepherd of his people (7). Worship, however, must be joined to obedience. Israel’s experiences in the wilderness show that people might claim to belong to God, but be so complaining, disobedient and stubborn that it is impossible for them to enjoy the inheritance God promised (8-11; cf. Exod 17:1-7; Num 11:1-23; 20:2-13; Heb 3:7-4:10).

After the worshippers have heeded the warning of the previous psalm and prepared their hearts in a right attitude of worship, they are urged to praise God with further singing. Besides praising him for his great works, they are to proclaim his wonders to others (96:1-3). Idol-gods cannot be known, because they have no life. The living and true God can be known, both through the created universe and through the worship of the sanctuary (4-6). People everywhere should therefore bring him worship, praise and sacrificial offerings (7-9). Because he is Lord of the universe, all creation joins in bringing him praise. Because he is Lord of the world of humankind, he will establish his righteous kingdom on the earth (10- 13).

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