Psalms 81
(By Asaph for the music leader.#Psalm 81 leader: See the note at Psalm 8.)
God makes us strong
1Be happy and shout to God
who makes us strong!
Shout praises to the God
of Jacob.
2Sing as you play tambourines
and the lovely sounding
stringed instruments.
3Sound the trumpets and start#Nu 10.10.
the New Moon Festival.#81.3 New Moon Festival: Celebrated on the first day of each new moon, which was the beginning of the month. But this may refer to either the New Year celebration or the Harvest Festival. “The moon is full” suggests a festival in the middle of the month.
We must also celebrate
when the moon is full.
4This is the law in Israel,
and it was given to us
by the God of Jacob.
5The descendants of Joseph
were told to obey it,
when God led them out
from the land of Egypt.
In a language unknown to me,
I heard someone say:
6“I lifted the burden
from your shoulder
and took the heavy basket
from your hands.
7When you were in trouble,#Ex 17.7; Nu 20.13.
I rescued you,
and from the thunderclouds,
I answered your prayers.
Later I tested you
at Meribah Spring.#81.7 Meribah Spring: When the people of Israel complained to Moses about the need for water, God commanded Moses to strike a rock with his walking stick, and water came out. The place was then named Massah (“test”) and Meribah (“complaining”).
8“Listen, my people,
while I, the Lord,
correct you!
Israel, if you would only
pay attention to me!
9Don't worship foreign gods#Ex 20.2,3; Dt 5.6,7.
or bow down to gods
you know nothing about.
10I am the LORD your God.
I rescued you from Egypt.
Just ask, and I will give you
whatever you need.
11“But, my people, Israel,
you refused to listen,
and you would have nothing
to do with me!
12So I let you be stubborn
and keep on following
your own advice.
13“My people, Israel,
if only you would listen
and do as I say!
14I, the LORD, would quickly
defeat your enemies
with my mighty power.
15Everyone who hates me
would come crawling,
and that would be the end
of them.
16But I would feed you
with the finest bread
and with the best honey#81.16 the best honey: The Hebrew text has “honey from rocks”, referring to honey taken from beehives in holes or cracks in large rocks.
until you were full.”