Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving…. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. (Psalm 95:1–2, 6–7—NKJV)

As citizens of these United States we have been especially blessed by the God of Heaven. We have the unique privilege among all the inhabitants of the earth to celebrate a most singular holiday, the day of national thanksgiving. The very idea of Thanksgiving Day begs the question to any thinking person, “Thanksgiving to whom?” May Christians ever celebrate this holiday by giving public testimony as the psalmist says, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God.”

The two-part outline of Psalm 95 is quite simple. The redeemed people ought to worship their God and not to test Him by disobeying Him.

Real worship is a thanksgiving that is vibrant and alive. There is no room for tepid praise. The very first verse of Psalm 95 calls believers to sing (literally “a ringing cry”). Shouting joyfully to the Rock of our salvation allows for no “pale pastels.” Every hostess on Thanksgiving Day can tell the difference between perfunctory thanks for her labors compared to the real hearty enjoyment of the food she provided, accompanied by sincere praise for her culinary skills! Does our God, the Rock of salvation, deserve less when He has loved us so much?

The psalmist puts forth a pair of reasons for which to give thanks and praise to God. First, He is the great God (vs. 3–5). Second, He is our God (vs. 6–7). Just how great is He? The psalmist declares that He is the great King above all gods. In this day, in this great land, we have substituted modern “gods” for the pagan gods of the past. Pagan gods were very localized and associated with particular places, customs, and superstitions. Our modern gods are associated with compartmentalized securities, pleasures, successes, and diversions. Our “false god” is anything that tends to rob the Living God of His rightful place and due devotion.

The Living God cannot be relegated by His subjects to a special holy day, feigned lip service, or conceived as an ever-in-the-ready rescue service awaiting your personal beck and call. He is the One who personally formed the valleys in the deepest seas and the craggy majesty of the highest hills. All we survey is His. And we are part of His creation, in fact, the supreme part of His creation. If the far off “heavens declare the glory of God” ought not we who know Him be the most articulate and outspoken of all?

If you have Psalm 95 open before you, take the time to notice the “hands” of the Rock of our salvation. Verse 4 says, “In His hand are the deep places of the earth.” Verse 5 says, “His hands formed the dry land.” Then, notice verse 7, “For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” The hand of God encompasses all the mysteries of creation, touches the very earth upon which we stand, and gently cares for each of His own. He is not only The Great God, but He is Our God!

For this reason, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker!” Though mankind is the crown of His creation, it is the redeemed individual that is the special beneficiary of His almighty care, and is the apple of His eye! You have been, and continue to be, the recipient of His most extraordinary shepherding ministrations. Now, can you give forth ringing praise and come before His presence with thanksgiving?

Hebrews 13:20–21 intones, “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Trust and obey.