Commentary on Ps 95 for Sunday  29A

Psalm 95 (96) 29A.

Psalm 95 is one continuous  call to praise. The psalm is said to have its origin in the second century BC during the re-building of the Temple after the captives have returned from exile in Babylon. It reminds me of the joy in Lithuanian churches when the congregations were liberated from Soviet rule: their nationality had been suppressed and monuments to the local culture had been destroyed. The people sang a new song, or the old songs with renewed vigour as they gathered round the tables of the Lord, smiling and dancing, fully resplendent in their national costumes.

The psalm has three sections. It calls the congregation three times to sing out in praise.  That’s just the first 2 verses. Then in verses 7 – 10 it invites all the peoples of the world to join in the singing. The full psalm ends in verses 11 to 14 by calling all of creation to join in the song: even the trees are invited to “clap their hands” and the oceans are to “thunder their praise”.

Why? Because the Lord is coming! There is a deliberate repetition in verse 13: “The Lord is coming indeed!”

This will be a saving judgment and so a cause for celebration!

Verse 13 has an interesting pun in the Hebrew. Since that language has no written vowels, you can translate this coming judgement extending  either as “from sea to sea”, or “from day to day” by the insertion of a different vowel. Both meanings are implied.

That double meaning leads me to see God’s saving eye extending geographically, from sea to sea, or as a day-to-day presence.

For me, it’s both. The call to sing this song of praise and act upon it is both outwards, beyond my local district and church; but it is also to try to do this in a daily call to commitment.

With a song in our step of course!