Thursday 6 November, 2014

Psalm 81

1 Sing joyfully to God! He gives us strength. Give a loud shout to the God of Jacob! 2 Let the music begin. Play the tambourines. Play sweet music on harps and lyres. 3 Blow the ram’s horn on the day of the New Moon Feast. Blow it again when the moon is full and the Feast of Booths begins. 4 This is an order given to Israel. It is a law of the God of Jacob. 5 He gave it as a covenant law for the people of Joseph when God went out to punish Egypt. There we heard a language we didn’t understand. 6 God said, “I removed the load from your shoulders. I set your hands free from carrying heavy baskets. 7 You called out when you were in trouble, and I saved you. I answered you out of a thundercloud. I put you to the test at the waters of Meribah. Selah 8 “My people, listen and I will warn you. Israel, I wish you would listen to me! 9 Don’t have anything to do with the gods of other nations. Don’t bow down and worship strange gods. 10 I am the Lord your God. I brought you up out of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. 11 “But my people wouldn’t listen to me. Israel wouldn’t obey me. 12 So I let them go their own stubborn way. I let them follow their own sinful plans. 13 “I wish my people would listen to me! I wish Israel would live as I want them to live! 14 Then I would quickly bring their enemies under control. I would use my power against their attackers. 15 Those who hate me would bow down to me in fear. They would be punished forever. 16 But you would be fed with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with the sweetest honey.”

What strikes me about this psalm are the things that God is calling his people to do in the first half of the psalm: These things are not difficult or onerous and seem like they would be joyful to participate in. Yet the people do not listen or obey and God mourns their disobedience.

Upon reflection, it becomes clear that these things are all worship- The thing that God really wants us to obey him in the most is to have all of our lives as worship! When I think about it, this sums up so many of the promises and commandments in the Bible for me. When I truly worship Him, obedience in all other areas becomes so much easier.

Lord help me to keep learning new ways of opening all areas of my life up in worship of You and help me also to be fully obedient in all areas of my life.

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

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