Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now.
Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.
1 Come, let us worship in song, a joyful offering to the Eternal.
Shout! Shout with joy to the rock of our liberation.
2 Come face-to-face with God, and give thanks;
with loud and joyful voices, praise Him in songs.
3 For the Eternal is a great God,
and a great King, supreme over all gods.
4 Within His control are the very depths of the earth;
the mountaintops too—they all belong to Him.
5 The sea belongs to Him, for He created it—scooped and filled it—
with His hands He made the dry land—every valley and mountain.
6 Come, let us worship Him. Everyone bow down;
kneel before the Eternal who made us.
7 For He is our God
and we are His people, the flock of His pasture,
His sheep protected and nurtured by His hand.
Today, if He speaks, hear His voice.
8 “Don’t harden your hearts the way they did in the bitter uprising at Meribah
or like that day they complained in the wilderness of Massah.
9 Your ancestors tested Me,
wanted Me to prove Myself though they had seen that nothing was too great for Me.
Yesterday we read the story of when the Israelites were led into the wilderness and began complaining to Moses about the state of affairs as no-longer-enslaved peoples. They were unhappy and couldn’t fathom why Moses would take them out of Egypt. In Psalm 95 we read an echo of that story and some of the Lord’s response to that.
We should always approach God in thanksgiving and praise. We will always have an abundance of things to praise the Lord for and it will never run dry. So here the author of this Psalm shows us what it looks like to come before the Lord. They begin with a song of praise and joy for all he has done and who he is. He is a great God, the Creator of all, supreme over all Gods. And He is also our shepherd and we are his sheep. In all His might and power there is still gentleness and care for us as his flock. The Psalmist urges us to also listen for his voice and hear when he speaks, echoing Exodus 17.
The Israelites didn’t trust Moses and therefore didn’t trust what God was doing. They couldn’t see it. Their freedom. The way their Protector and Provider kept showing up for them. So they kept testing God. And here the Psalmist encourages us not to be like this. To not harden our hearts.
All this points to Jesus and listening for his voice. We ought not to harden our hearts towards Him. A hardened heart is a distrusting heart. And distrust is a difficult thing to overcome. Today let us keep our hearts soft and our ears open. We will trust that even when we can’t see and we can’t understand, we can trust that God is bigger and still at work. Talk to him about what you’re feeling and thinking and questioning. Turn your complaints into conversation, the way the Israelites were not able to.
Enduring Presence, goal and guide, you go before and await our coming. Only our thirst compels us beyond complaint to conversation, beyond rejection to relationship. Pour your love into our hearts, that, refreshed and renewed, we may invite others to the living water given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
WRITE and DISCUSS