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Psalm 81

God’s Appeal to Stubborn Israel

To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.

1

Sing aloud to God our strength;

shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

2

Raise a song, sound the tambourine,

the sweet lyre with the harp.

3

Blow the trumpet at the new moon,

at the full moon, on our festal day.

4

For it is a statute for Israel,

an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

5

He made it a decree in Joseph,

when he went out over the land of Egypt.

 

I hear a voice I had not known:

6

“I relieved your shoulder of the burden;

your hands were freed from the basket.

7

In distress you called, and I rescued you;

I answered you in the secret place of thunder;

I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah

8

Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;

O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

9

There shall be no strange god among you;

you shall not bow down to a foreign god.

10

I 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.

12

So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,

to follow their own counsels.

13

O that my people would listen to me,

that Israel would walk in my ways!

14

Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,

and turn my hand against their foes.

15

Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,

and their doom would last forever.

16

I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,

and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”


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Ps 81:1-16. Gittith—(See on Ps 8:1, title). A festal Psalm, probably for the passover (compare Mt 26:30), in which, after an exhortation to praise God, He is introduced, reminding Israel of their obligations, chiding their neglect, and depicting the happy results of obedience.

1. our strength—(Ps 38:7).

2. unites the most joyful kinds of music, vocal and instrumental.

3. the new moon—or the month.

the time appointed—(Compare Pr 7:20).

5. a testimony—The feasts, especially the passover, attested God's relation to His people.

Joseph—for Israel (Ps 80:1).

went out through—or, "over," that is, Israel in the exodus.

I heard—change of person. The writer speaks for the nation.

language—literally, "lip" (Ps 14:1). An aggravation or element of their distress that their oppressors were foreigners (De 28:49).

6. God's language alludes to the burdensome slavery of the Israelites.

7. secret place—the cloud from which He troubled the Egyptians (Ex 14:24).

proved thee—(Ps 7:10; 17:3)—tested their faith by the miracle.

8. (Compare Ps 50:7). The reproof follows to Ps 81:12.

if thou wilt hearken—He then propounds the terms of His covenant: they should worship Him alone, who (Ps 81:10) had delivered them, and would still confer all needed blessings.

11, 12. They failed, and He gave them up to their own desires and hardness of heart (De 29:18; Pr 1:30; Ro 11:25).

13-16. Obedience would have secured all promised blessings and the subjection of foes. In this passage, "should have," "would have," &c., are better, "should" and "would" expressing God's intention at the time, that is, when they left Egypt.




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