God’s Word of Praise and Thanksgiving
Psalm 81: This celebratory psalm recounts God’s deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt and concludes with an affirmation of God’s love and care for those who obey him.
A Song for a Festival
1Shout for joy to God our defender;
sing praise to the God of Jacob!
2Start the music and beat the tambourines;
play pleasant music on the harps and the lyres.
3 Blow the trumpet for the festival,
when the moon is new and when the moon is full.
4This is the law in Israel,
an order from the God of Jacob.
5He gave it to the people of Israel
when he attacked the land of Egypt.
I hear an unknown voice saying,
6“I took the burdens off your backs;
I let you put down your loads of bricks.
7 When you were in trouble, you called to me, and I saved you.
From my hiding place in the storm, I answered you.
I put you to the test at the springs of Meribah.
8Listen, my people, to my warning;
Israel, how I wish you would listen to me!
9 You must never worship another god.
10I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of Egypt.
Open your mouth, and I will feed you.
11“But my people would not listen to me;
Israel would not obey me.
12So I let them go their stubborn ways
and do whatever they wanted.
13How I wish my people would listen to me;
how I wish they would obey me!
14I would quickly defeat their enemies
and conquer all their foes.
15Those who hate me would bow in fear before me;
their punishment would last forever.
16But I would feed you with the finest wheat
and satisfy you with wild honey.”
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 81:1
Shout for joy to God our defender; sing praise to the God of Jacob!
This psalm, most likely written for a festival, would have been accompanied by music. What instruments are mentioned? What festivals are celebrated or commemorated in your community of faith? The psalm recalls how God delivered the Israelites from slavery (verses 6-10). What did God do? Verse 10 begins with the first words from Exodus 20:2, and verse 9 echoes Exodus 20:3. Why are these words important? What is promised to those who obey God?
I sing for joy, Lord God, because you are my defender and deliverer. I feast today on your Word and worship you. I praise your holy name. Amen.
Psalm 82: God is the supreme ruler.