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FRAMEWORKS: Psa 81: Worship & be Faithful


For the director of music. According to gittith. Of Asaph.


[Preliminary Comments: This intriguing psalm has two distinct parts. The first part calls Israel to sing and worship and acknowledge the Lord at the times specified in the Law. Part two is a prophecy with the Lord calling to Israel to be faithful.]



PART 1: v.1-5: Call to Sung Worship


v.1 Call to acclaim the Lord


v.1  Sing for joy to God our strength;
     shout aloud to the God of Jacob!


v.2 Start the music

v.2  Begin the music, strike the tambourine,
     play the melodious harp and lyre.


v.3 May it be on all the special days…


v.3  Sound the ram's horn at the New Moon,
     and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast;


v.4 …. as prescribed by the Lord…

v.4  this is a decree for Israel,
     an ordinance of the God of Jacob.


v.5 … in times of victory in the past

v.5  When God went out against Egypt,
     he established it as a statute for Joseph.



PART 2: v.5b-16: Prophecy


v.6-8 The Lord calls to Israel to listen


I heard an unknown voice say:

v.6  ‘I removed the burden from their shoulders;
     their hands were set free from the basket.
v.7  In your distress you called and I rescued you,
     I answered you out of a thundercloud;
     I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
v.8  Hear me, my people, and I will warn you –
     if you would only listen to me, Israel!

v.9,10 He reminds them of the unique relationship they should have with Him


v.9  You shall have no foreign god among you;
     you shall not worship any god other than me.
v.10  I am the Lord your God,
     who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.


v.11,12 He reminds them how He has had to give them up for their rebellion


v.11  ‘But my people would not listen to me;
     Israel would not submit to me.
v.12  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
     to follow their own devices.


v.13,14 He would still be there for them if they turned to Him


v.13  ‘If my people would only listen to me,
     if Israel would only follow my ways,
v.14  how quickly I would subdue their enemies
     and turn my hand against their foes!

v.15,16 Triumph and blessing could be there for them


v.15  Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
     and their punishment would last for ever.
v.16  But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
     with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.'



[Additional Comments: This psalm is essentially a wakeup call to Israel, first to worship the Lord and then return to Him with all their hearts [implied]. It appears to come to Israel at a time where mediocrity reigns in their relationship with the Lord.]


Continue to Psa 82