“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.”
“If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways….”
Psalm 81: 6-7a, 13
This beautiful Psalm is essentially a call from the Lord, to His people, to be blessed. God wants to bless and provide for His people, He is motivated by pure love.
The Psalm starts with simple and genuine praise. The people see God for who He is and remember what He has done; they can only praise, worship and give thanks. In remembering their deliverance from Egypt they also remember further salvation in the provision of water at Meribah (7). In recalling the salvation God provided on this occasion we must also remember the complaints against God by the people, their quarreling with Moses and essentially God (Exodus 17: 7, Numbers 20: 13). Despite this, God in His love, miraculously provided water from a rock for His people.
From this point (8), the Psalm moves to call upon the people of God. They are to have no other God, they are to submit to God and follow His ways. If they do God will provide bountifully: salvation and provision (9b); protection (14); and blessing (16). Sadly the people do not listen (8, 11a) or submit (11b), so God gives them over to follow their own devices; their stubborn hearts (12). What a call to ignore, what blessing to miss out on!
Today’s truth is simple; God wants to bless! God the Rock, wants to provide living waters of salvation. He calls us to listen to Him, deny false gods and to submit. If we do we are blessed beyond our wildest imagination, in this life and into eternity. Yes we will have difficulties, suffering and trials but if we call on God in our distress He rescues us (7); if we ask for provision He provides (10b); if we seek protection, He is our shield (14); and He will bless beyond our needs (16). He calls us to simply follow His ways.
Sadly we often allow our stubborn hearts to take us away from God (12). We need to heed His call and not allow ourselves to get to the point where He gives us over to our own desires (12 & Romans 1: 18-24). Instead let us enjoy our God, for whom we have been created, and glorify him with our lives!
The Questions of Application
Are you in receipt of God’s blessings? Call on Him and He will answer (Jeremiah 33: 3)
Father, forgive our foolish ways, and feed us always with that living bread which is given for the life of the world, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Rescuer by Rend Collective
Jehovah Jireh, my provider by Don Moen
Jireh by Elevation Worship and Maverick City
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.