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1 (To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph.) Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

4 For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.

5 This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.

7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

8 Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;

9 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

10 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.

12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!

14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.

15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.

16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

Commentary for Psalms 81

God is praised for what he has done for his people. (1-7) Their obligations to him. (8-16)

1-7 All the worship we can render to the Lord is beneath his excellences, and our obligations to him, especially in our redemption from sin and wrath. What God had done on Israel's behalf, was kept in remembrance by public solemnities. To make a deliverance appear more gracious, more glorious, it is good to observe all that makes the trouble we are delivered from appear more grievous. We ought never to forget the base and ruinous drudgery to which Satan, our oppressor, brought us. But when, in distress of conscience, we are led to cry for deliverance, the Lord answers our prayers, and sets us at liberty. Convictions of sin, and trials by affliction, prove his regard to his people. If the Jews, on their solemn feast-days, were thus to call to mind their redemption out of Egypt, much more ought we, on the Christian sabbath, to call to mind a more glorious redemption, wrought out for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, from worse bondage.

8-16 We cannot look for too little from the creature, nor too much from the Creator. We may have enough from God, if we pray for it in faith. All the wickedness of the world is owing to man's wilfulness. People are not religious, because they will not be so. God is not the Author of their sin, he leaves them to the lusts of their own hearts, and the counsels of their own heads; if they do not well, the blame must be upon themselves. The Lord is unwilling that any should perish. What enemies sinners are to themselves! It is sin that makes our troubles long, and our salvation slow. Upon the same conditions of faith and obedience, do Christians hold those spiritual and eternal good things, which the pleasant fields and fertile hills of Canaan showed forth. Christ is the Bread of life; he is the Rock of salvation, and his promises are as honey to pious minds. But those who reject him as their Lord and Master, must also lose him as their Saviour and their reward.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Psalms 81

  • Ato ARMAH
    I love verse 10 is a very important verse in their chapter.
    I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
  • Mona
    Vs. 13 14 are my best: I'm Loving it, because we give up too quickly and do not WAIT for God to act on our behalf. God's deliverance on our behalf comes with our listening and obeying Him. This way we do not have to fight for ourselves. I need to remember this daily.
  • Sharon
    God wants us to trust that He has demolished Satan 's thrones and we should always on our way keep our minds, eyes and heart 's on Him, not wavering alone.
  • Eaglesrock
    What happens when we praise our God. I will deliver you from your enemies,I will answer you, there shall be no strange god in you.
  • Benjamin
    It is sin that makes our troubles long and our salvation slow. What words!
  • Barbara lee
    Psalms 81 God wants us to obey his commands and we are not to have or worship any other gods he will do great things for us

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Bible Trivia

The psalmist refers to the God of Jacob--who was Jacob's grandfather?
  • Noah
  • Isaac
  • Abraham
  • Adam
  • Esau