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Psalm 81 Feb. 16 For the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. By Asaph.  1Sing aloud to God, our strength! Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob! 2Raise a song, and bring here the tambourine, the pleasant lyre with the harp. 3Blow the trumpet at the New Moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. 4For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 5He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt, I heard a language that I didn’t know. 6I removed his shoulder from the burden, his hands were freed from the basket. 7You called in trouble, and I delivered you. I answered you in the secret place of thunder, I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.  8Hear My people and I will testify to you, Israel, if you would have listened to Me! 9There shall be no strange god with you, neither shall you worship any foreign god. 10I am Yahweh your God who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. 11But My people didn’t listen to My voice, Israel desired none of Me. 12So I let them go after the stubbornness of their hearts, that they might walk in their own counsels. 13Oh that My people would have listened to me, that Israel would have walked in my ways! 14I would quickly have subdued their enemies, and turned My hand against their adversaries. 15The haters of Yahweh would have cringed before Him, and their punishment would have lasted forever. 16But He would have also fed them with the finest of the wheat, I would have satisfied you with honey out of the rock.   


81:5 I heard a language that I didn’t know- God of course understands every language and thought of man, including Egyptian. Yet He so identifies with His people that He speaks from their limited perspective. He has the ability to see and feel life from our viewpoint here on earth. He isn’t therefore distant from us.
81:11 God (“me”) is paralleled with His voice; if we disregard His word, this is our attitude to Him. We can’t divorce our relationship with Him from our relationship with His word. True believers can therefore be nothing but Bible lovers and searchers.
81:14 I would quickly have- We have in these verses the amazing fact that God knows all possible futures; He knew all the things that would have happened if they had been obedient- and He often mentions this in the prophets. In this we have another window into the pain and tragedy of God. We mourn more for those who die young than for those who die in fulfilled old age, because we think of all that might have been. And so it is for God, to an infinitely greater extent. He planned even to give Israel fine wheat as well as manna, and honey as well as water out of the smitten rock (:16); but Israel would not. And yet God continues to plan all kinds of intricate and wonderful possible futures for each of us; and individually and collectively we as His beloved people so often don’t enable them to happen because of our short term, faithless attitudes.