Archive for March 3rd, 2016

Psalm 81

Psalm 81 is another written by Asaph for the music leader.  And it begins with a focus on singing and praising God.  “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”.  This is a ‘Festival Psalm’ that happened during one of the three harvests – the fall celebration called the Festival of Tents which aligned with the grape harvest.  The Jewish folks had three major harvest periods:

  • April, when they picked barley (to make bread)
  • May, when they picked wheat (also to make bread)
  • October, when they picked grapes (to make wine)

The Feast of Tents is one of the many annual celebrations the Jewish nation followed.  During this week long event, they chose to live in a tent to remember how their ancestors lived while God took His people out of Egypt.  It was a one of two festivals or feasts that happened in the fall. One of those happened at the new moon, the other at full moon which is when this chapter is focused – on the Feast of Tents.  “Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day”. 

 God was serious about His people remembering how He has impacted their life over time.  “For it is a statute for Israel, a rule of the God of Jacob. He made it a decree in Joseph when he went out over the land of Egypt”.  It wasn’t optional for His people to celebrate the feasts.  They were part of His plan to stop, remember and pray.  God knew that the people were weak when it came to remembering Him and His relationship in their lives.  They had a tendency to follow other gods and even their own ideas.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt….But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me”. Here is the crux of man’s problem forever – we believe we can do whatever we want and without God’s help.  That is, until things do into the ditch and we’re in deep trouble.  Then we quickly remember that God is the only true source of power and strength and the only way for us to stop the disasters we create – when we let God be God and we stay in our spot of walking with Him.  “Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes”.  God’s given us the plan – we merely need to walk with and listen to Him and live in obedience to what He has and will tell us!

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