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Oh, That My People Would Listen to Me

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.11Probably a musical or liturgical term Of Asaph.

1Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
2Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
3Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our feast day.

4For it is a statute for Israel,
a rule22Or just decree of the God of Jacob.
5He made it a decree in Joseph
when he went out over33Or against the land of Egypt.
I hear a language I had not known:
6“I relieved your44Hebrew his; also next line shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
7In distress you called, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
8Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11“But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
12So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
13Oh, that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
14I would soon subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.
15Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him,
and their fate would last forever.
16But he would feed you55That is, Israel; Hebrew him with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”


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Verses 1–7

All the worship we can render to the Lord is beneath his excellences, and our obligations to him, especially in our redemption from sin and wrath. What God had done on Israel's behalf, was kept in remembrance by public solemnities. To make a deliverance appear more gracious, more glorious, it is good to observe all that makes the trouble we are delivered from appear more grievous. We ought never to forget the base and ruinous drudgery to which Satan, our oppressor, brought us. But when, in distress of conscience, we are led to cry for deliverance, the Lord answers our prayers, and sets us at liberty. Convictions of sin, and trials by affliction, prove his regard to his people. If the Jews, on their solemn feast-days, were thus to call to mind their redemption out of Egypt, much more ought we, on the Christian sabbath, to call to mind a more glorious redemption, wrought out for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, from worse bondage.

Verses 8–16

We cannot look for too little from the creature, nor too much from the Creator. We may have enough from God, if we pray for it in faith. All the wickedness of the world is owing to man's wilfulness. People are not religious, because they will not be so. God is not the Author of their sin, he leaves them to the lusts of their own hearts, and the counsels of their own heads; if they do not well, the blame must be upon themselves. The Lord is unwilling that any should perish. What enemies sinners are to themselves! It is sin that makes our troubles long, and our salvation slow. Upon the same conditions of faith and obedience, do Christians hold those spiritual and eternal good things, which the pleasant fields and fertile hills of Canaan showed forth. Christ is the Bread of life; he is the Rock of salvation, and his promises are as honey to pious minds. But those who reject him as their Lord and Master, must also lose him as their Saviour and their reward.




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