Friday, December 12, 2014

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday December 14, 2014

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(Express your praise to GOD)
(Psalm 95)

Our unwillingness to respond to GOD in the right way (obedience) will result in our losing of our only opportunity to enter into GOD’s holy “rest” when our lives here on earth are expired. In Psalm 95 the psalmist calls for us to acknowledge GOD as the great GOD above all the other deities (influences) of this world. GOD is the CREATOR of this world and we must respond to HIS voice with “saving faith”, if, we wish to end up in HIS glorious presence in the end. Here the psalmist writes these words that so eloquently crosses the spans of time to serve as a reminder to us, here in the 21st century;

(1)” Come, let us sing to the Lord!
    Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
(2) Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
    Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
(3) For the Lord is a great God,
    a great King above all gods.
(4) He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
    and the mightiest mountains.
(5) The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
    His hands formed the dry land, too.
(6) Come, let us worship and bow down.
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
(7)  for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
    the flock under his care.
If only you would listen to his voice today!
(8) The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,
    as they did at Massah in the wilderness.
(9) For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
    even though they saw everything I did.
(10) For forty years I was angry with them, and I said,
‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me.
    They refuse to do what I tell them.’
(11) So in my anger I took an oath:
    ‘They will never enter my place of rest.”

GOD’s voice is represented by any of the directives that are given to us through the Holy Scriptures, and, through the HOLY SPIRIT, WHO, is at work in all believers. True believers will always hear, recognize, and seek to obey that voice, and we worship HIM only when we “hear and do” that which HE directs and commands in HIS Holy Word. The key to our personal relationship with GOD is to remain steadfast and sensitive to HIS HOLY SPIRIT, and to always be ready to respond in the right way when HE does speak to us.
The very concept of “GOD’s rest” is rooted in creation itself, and, even today, still has vital meaning for believers. We, as Christians, know of GOD’s place of rest, because scripture tells us that on the seventh day, GOD rested from all of HIS labor. And so we see GOD’s place of rest, is just like HIS Word, in the sense that it has always been there for us to enjoy following our earthly experience. And even though many have failed to make it to that place of rest over the generations, it still remains to be enjoyed by those who listen to, and obey CHRIST JESUS.
This place of rest is not like the land of Canaan, where Joshua led the people to, following their forty years of struggles on the desert all those years ago. God has spoken since that time about another place of rest that is still waiting for those who believe in this day and time. We will find rest from all of our labors, just as GOD rested after creating the world, if we are led by our faith into obedience to HIS Word. However, anyone who disobeys GOD in this day, as the Israelite people did who died in the desert long ago, will also experience a death that will eternally separate them from GOD.
We, as modern-day Christians, must take care that we do not find ourselves in the position of the Israelites, who were made, by GOD, to wander in the desert for forty years, and were never able to experience GOD’s “rest” in the new “promised land” of milk and honey (Canaan), because of their perpetual disobedience. If we disobey and move against GOD’s Will today, as they did then, we ourselves will never experience GOD’s rest (in Heaven), which JESUS says, has had specially prepared for us, since the foundation of this world.
This Psalm is one of the seven so-called “Enthronement Psalms” of the Psalter (the others are Psalms 47, 93, & 96-99), and it helps us to somehow sense the intimate bond between “Old Testament faith”, and our own “faith in CHRIST JESUS” today. It also helps us to appreciate just “how great of a salvation” we have in GOD, through HIS greater SON. GOD’s promise of salvation, or, entering into “HIS place of rest”, is still valid, and should make us tremble with fear for ourselves, our loved ones, and all other human beings, who might fail to reach it, at the end of this earthly struggle.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

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