In Psalm 95:7, we are given two reasons that we should worship the Lord: “For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care” (niv). The first reason to worship God is because He is God—our God, the only being in the universe worthy of worship. We can praise other men and women, but we must not worship them. Worship is the most distinctive way for us to relate to God as God.
I am convinced that whatever we worship gains control of us. The more we worship it, the more like it we become—and the more it gains power over us. If we do not worship God, how much is He really our God?
The second reason that we should worship Him is that “we are the people of His pasture.” Worship is the way in which we recognize Him as our God, and it is the appropriate response to His care for us. This psalm ends with a solemn warning:
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah….For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.” So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.” (verses 7–8, 10–11 niv)
This passage sets before us two options: entering into true worship or refusing to do so. In worship, we hear God’s voice. Upon hearing and obeying His voice, we enter into rest. The inescapable conclusion is the importance of hearing God’s voice. As we read in Jeremiah 7:23, “This is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God’” (nasb). This is one of the simplest statements of what God requires: “Obey My voice, and I will be your God.”