Summary: As we hear the voice of God, we are to respond in worship through 1) Rejoicing (Psalm 95:1-5), 2) Reverence (Psalm 95:6-7b) & 3) Remembering (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Physicist Stephen Hawking made headlines this past week for taking on arguably the most influential scientist in human history, Sir Isaac Newton. Newton, the 17th century scientist who left enduring legacies in mathematics and the natural sciences. Newton warned centuries ago against using the law of gravity - which he discovered - to view the universe as a mere machine, like a great clock.
Newton said that: “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done. “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being,”
Hawking, however, says “the universe can and will create itself from nothing” because there is a law such as gravity. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” he writes in his soon-to-be-released book, The Grand Design.
As we just saw in our last Bible study, "Creation or Chaos" a basic principle of reason is that out of nothing, nothing comes.
In the United Kingdom, where Hawking resides, Denis Alexander, director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, said Hawking was “missing the point.” "Science provides us with a wonderful narrative as to how [existence] may happen, but theology addresses the meaning of the narrative," he said, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, in the United States, scholars at the ministry Reasons To Believe including RTB President and Founder Dr. Hugh Ross said there a “fundamental flaw” in Hawking’s reasoning. “A fundamental flaw in this Hawking idea is that God is no longer personal, and yet we human beings are personal,” he said in his ministry’s podcast Friday. “We have a mind, we have a spirit, and you’re attributing the development of the human mind, the human spirit, the minds for that matter we see in the higher animals, the personalities that we see in all of us from completely impersonal soul-less and spirit-less laws of physics. How can the lesser produce the greater?”
Like Hawking, RTB scholars agree that God is "the Grand Mathematician” but go further by saying He is more than that. And, they say, the laws of physics in nature "are a reflection of God’s intimate sustaining care for the universe.” “From a naturalist perspective, there need not be any laws of physics," said Zweerink. "But from a Christian perspective, we expect to see these laws of physics given God’s character and what He’s revealed to us.” http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100905/stephen-hawking-takes-on-sir-isaac-newton-christians-respond/index.html
Psalm 95 is a liturgical psalm, that talks about God’s creation of the universe, and how worship is the appropriate response. People are to respond in thankfulness for His past and continued actions. and understand how He shows Himself through His creation. More specifically, His voice can be heard though the accounts of His actions in Scripture, but only those who acknowledge Him as sovereign and Lord will hear and understand Him.
When we fail to hear the voice of God, we tend to listen to the loudest, rebellious doubts. They come in the form of entertainment distractions, lazy lethargy, or otherwise fine endeavors that take us away from the calling the God has for us. The results, like those of unfaithful Israel, are a loss of blessing, lack of peace and ultimately death.
3) Remembering (Psalm 95:7c-11)
1) Rejoicing (Psalm 95:1-5)
Psalm 95:1-5 [95:1]Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land (Esv).
The Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT, also known as the LXX) calls this psalm “A psalm of David,” but in the Hebrew there is no superscription (Gingrich, R. E. (1995). The Book of Psalms (Book Four) (13). Memphis, TN.: Riverside Printing.).
This psalm, with its references to the wilderness wanderings, may have been composed by David (Heb. 4:7) for the Feast of the Tabernacles (cf. Ps. 81). During this feast, the people of Israel lived in booths, remembering God’s provisions for them in the wilderness (MacArthur, J. J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Ps 95:1). Nashville: Word Pub.).
Psalm 95 is still used in the synagogue as one of the Friday evening psalms which introduce the sabbath. The Western Church has adopted it into its daily “Order for Prayer”— (known as the Venite, from the Latin for ‘O come’) as a call and guide to worship.