Psalm 81 — Prayerful Concern About Sin — Reading the Psalms


For the Chief Musician; set to the Gittith. A Psalm of Asaph.

1 Sing aloud unto God our strength:
Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
2 Take up the psalm, and bring hither the timbrel,
The pleasant harp with the psaltery.
3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon,
At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.
4 For it is a statute for Israel,
An ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 He appointed it in Joseph for testimony,
When he went out over the land of Egypt:
Where I heard a language that I knew not.
6 I removed his shoulder from the burden:
His hands were freed from the basket.
7 Thou calledst in trouble,
And I answered thee in the secret place of thunder;
I proved thee at the waters of Meribah.      Selah
8 Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee:
O Israel, if thou wouldest hearken unto me!
9 There shall no strange god be in thee;
Neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
10 I am the LORD thy God,
Which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt:
Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11 But my people hearkened not to my voice;
And Israel would none of me.
12 So I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart,
That they might walk in their own counsels.
13 Oh that my people would hearken unto me,
That Israel would walk in my ways!
14 I should soon subdue their enemies,
And turn my hand against their adversaries.
15 The haters of the LORD should submit themselves unto him:
But their time should endure for ever.
16 He should feed them also with the finest of the wheat:
And with honey out of the rock should I satisfy thee.

What calamity and fear fills Asaph’s heart in this psalm? You may notice there seems no trace of the enemy at the gates. Instead, he writes solely of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt in the days of old, and Israel’s subsequent dismissal of God.

Asaph is clearly interested in the topic and idea of sin. No small side topic, rather it’s the main focus of his concern. If God delivers us, and we turn away into sin, what should we expect in return? This kind of introspection befits us all. For if the Israelites who lived with miracles could make such a mistake, what of ourselves?

“My people hearkened not to my voice, Israel would none of me.” God, speaking in the first person, through Asaph’s pen, speaks from his own divine heart. It used to be Asaph’s breaking heart which filled the pages; now it is our Lord. Jesus himself wanted to gather Jerusalem into his arms, but it would not.

And you? Where are you in your journey? Are you, like the Asaph of old, caught up in sorrow? Turn to God in prayer! Are you, like the Asaph we’ve read today, concerned about sin? Seek salvation in God’s son! Wherever you are, seek the Lord in his word and speak to him in prayer.


Source link

Write a comment
Verified by MonsterInsights