Monday, October 28, 2013

Listening to God

Psalm 81 begins with encouragement for the people of God to

Sing for joy to God our strength;
    shout aloud to the God of Jacob!

The next verses continue to describe the worship, the celebration, and especially to know the goodness and faithfulness of God.  Then beginning at the latter part of verse 5,

I heard an unknown voice say:
“I removed the burden from their shoulders;
    their hands were set free from the basket.
In your distress you called and I rescued you,
    I answered you out of a thundercloud;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—
    if you would only listen to me, Israel!
You shall have no foreign god among you;
    you shall not worship any god other than me.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

Those sound like the words of a god who longs to provide for those who follow him, like our God.  All those things that God had done for his people are for their good, just like he still establishes and maintains our good.  Look closely at verse 8,  "if you would only listen to me, Israel!"  Herein lies the problem because we, like Israel, choose our own way rather than God's way.  Can you, as a parent, relate to the mistakes of your children with those same words?  You can understand some of what it must be like to be God.  Continue reading  in verse 11,

11 “But my people would not listen to me;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts

  to follow their own devices.

Hear the word of God in the last verses of Psalm 81 and see how God longs to bless you and bring about good things for you.  We need Him.  Our country and its leaders need Him. 

13 “If my people would only listen to me,
    if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
    and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
    with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”


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