Psalms 81

For the Feast of Harvest
For the Pure and Shining One
Asaph’s poetic song set to the melody of “For the Feast of Harvest”
1Lord, just singing about you makes me strong!
So I’ll keep shouting for joy to Jacob’s God, my champion.
2Let the celebration begin!
I will sing with drum accompaniment and with the sweet sound
of the harp and guitar strumming.
3Go ahead! Blow the jubilee trumpet to begin the feast!
Blow it before every joyous celebration and festival. # 81:3 Or “on the day of the new moon and the day of the full moon.”
4For God has given us these seasons of joy,
days that the God of Jacob decreed for us to celebrate and rejoice.
5He has given these feasts to remind us of his triumph over Egypt,
when he went out to wage war against them.
I heard the message in an unknown tongue as he said to me,
6“I have removed your backbreaking burdens
and have freed your hands from the hard labor and toil. # 81:6 Or “from holding the baskets,” which alludes to the Hebrews carrying basket loads of burdens for their Egyptian masters.
7You called out to me in your time of trouble, and I rescued you.
I came down from the realm of the secret place of thunder,
where mysteries hide.
I came down to save you.
I tested your hearts at the place where there was no water to drink,
the place of your bitter argument with me.” # 81:7 The Hebrew includes the word Meribah, which means “the place of strife and contention.”
Pause in his presence
8“Listen to me, my dear people.
For I’m warning you, and you’d better listen well!
For I hold something against you.
9Don’t ever be guilty of worshiping any other god but me.
10I am your only God, the living God.
Wasn’t I the one who broke the strongholds over you
and raised you up out of bondage?
Open your mouth with a mighty decree;
I will fulfill it now, you’ll see!
The words that you speak, so shall it be!
11But my people still wouldn’t listen;
my princely people would not yield to me.
12So I lifted my grace from off of their lives, and I surrendered them
to the stubbornness of their hearts.
For they were living according to their own selfish fantasies.
13O that my people would once and for all listen to me
and walk faithfully in my footsteps, following my ways.
14Then and only then will I conquer your every foe
and tell every one of them, ‘You must go!’
15Those who hate my ways will cringe before me
and their punishment will be eternal.
16But I will feed you with my spiritual bread.
You will feast and be satisfied with me,
feeding on my revelation-truth like honey
dripping from the cliffs of the high place.”

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