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PSALM 81

By: Steve Negley

Posted: October 28, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

STUBBORN

Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our festal day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph,
when he went out over the land of Egypt.

I hear a voice I had not known:
“I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
13 O that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
and their doom would last forever.
16 I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.

One back-handed compliment that might be shared in the family of faith is to say that someone is like one of the twelve disciples , or maybe one of the twelve tribes of the Hebrews.  Granted, these people were followers of God.  They sought a relationship with their God.  And yet they were often stubborn.

11 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.

We are in the part of the psalms where Israel’s misdeeds are often pointed out. The better way of living is also lifted up. Some people are too stubborn to change.

Prayer

God, let me listen to your voice. Help me heed your counsel. Remind me of how good life can be if I will try to follow you. And replace my stubborn sinfulness with a little more submission to your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.