October 17 - Psalm 81

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 17 - Psalm 81:1-16.

This is another celebration Psalm and was probably written for the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43). This Feast and the Passover celebration were both reminders to the Israelites of the Exodus.

Bring on the instruments, start the festival! Psalm 81:3-5 reminds the listener that God had set down the three Festivals (Passover, Tabernacles (or shelters), Weeks (we know this as Pentecost - it's actually a harvest festival) and these were not to be taken lightly. These were decrees...statutes. It isn't often the Lord of Creation tells you to party ... shouldn't be a difficult thing to do, eh?

Psalm 81:6-10 recalls the Exodus for the listeners and Psalm 81:11 sings out the lament of the Father. The lament gives way to the plea found in Psalm 81:13-14. This sounds very much like 2 Chronicles 7:14.

The Bible is filled with stories of God's power being released when his people no longer tried to control their own destiny. Moses was alone when the burning bush spoke to him, the people of Israel were at the lowest point of their subjugation to Egypt when God revealed Himself through the plagues and finally the parting of the Red Sea. John received the Revelation when he was in exile on the rocky island of Patmos. The stories in between fill the pages of my Bible.

We don't seem to ever learn, though. We are so conditioned to fend for ourselves and to rarely trust others to care for us.

Does God ever say these words over you? "If you would but listen to me, if you would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue your enemies and turn my hand against your foes." I am certain that He has whispered them in my ear when I am bent on pursuing my own way.

God's promises endure. Even though we find ourselves running from Him and working diligently to establish our small kingdoms, He will reign.

Psalm 81 reminds us that we are a stubborn people. It also reminds us that God wants to bless us, but is many times stopped by our actions.

Take time today to really listen to God. Shut your mouths. Quit telling Him what your needs and desires are. Listen to Him.