Verse 9: "where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did."
It was "in the desert, where your fathers" did 2 things: (1) "[they] tested and tried me" even though (2) "they had seen what I did."
Their ears were dulled and their hearts were hard. As a result, in verse 9, the Lord evaluated the situation by saying "your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did." They didn't listen and they didn't obey.
Verse 10: "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.'"
There are 2 things here in verse 10 that make the Lord angry: (1) "They are a people whose hearts go astray" and (2) "they have not known my ways."
Isaiah 53:6: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (NIV).
Luke 15:16, 17: "And he was longing to fill his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!'" (NASB).
Amy Carmichael says: "There is a wonderful sense of release when we understand that we need never plan for ourselves, never try to twist circumstances so that our wishes shall come to pass. We have only one thing to do, such a happy, peaceful thing that we can never be glad enough and grateful enough for it. We have only to commit ourselves and our ways to Him who guides us by the skillfulness of His Hands." (Whispers of His Power, 136)
Verse 11: "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'"
Here we have the result of the actions in the previous verses. The Lord says: "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" They were a people with "hardened...hearts" and "hearts [that] go astray." As a result, "they have not known [His] ways."
The justifiable response on the part of the Lord is stated here in verse 11: "I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'"
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says: "The warning in Psalm 95 anticipates this because it is part of a song that celebrates the Lord's kingship...a kingship that can only be served by true worshipers." (863)
Wyrtzen says: "Unbelief and resistance cost the children of Israel their promised rest in the land flowing with milk and honey. Will I be faithful to the end? Will my performance disintegrate, or will I reach the finale?"
Joseph Stowell says: "Surrendering fully to Jesus is the key to beginning a life that effectively impacts your world for Him." (The Trouble With Jesus, 154)
Michelle McKinney Hammond says: "Many of us miss life's payday by quitting in the middle of the job." (Get Over It and On With It!, 136)
Lord, thank You for the precious promises that are ours from the lips of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light" (NASB).
Lord, the response of my heart on this occasion is verbalized in Psalm 45:6: "your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom" (NIV).
Wyrtzen prays: "O Great God King, soften my heart toward You and turn my murmurings into a melody of praise."
Wiersbe says: "When you take God and His provisions for granted, you become less thankful and less responsive to Him. Heed the warning of these verses: Keep your heart open to God's Word and obey Him."
Hudson Taylor loved to sing "Jesus, I am resting, resting, In the joy of what Thou art; I am finding out the greatness Of Thy loving heart. Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, And Thy beauty fills my soul, For by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole."
Psalm 118:15: "Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!" (NLT)