God is dependable. Throughout all the ages God has shown that we can depend on Him.
Psalm 81 was written by Asaph to remind the Israelites that they can depend on God. What can we learn from this Psalm?
First, we must not forget what God has done in and through our lives.
Psalm 81:6-7 “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.”
God reminded them what He did in Egypt and in the wilderness up to the time that they entered the Promised Land. God also appointed the festivals that the Israelites should commemorate once they will enter the Promised Land. God commanded Moses that the people will celebrate these feasts. These can be found in Leviticus 23 – The Sabbath, The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread, Offering the Firstfruits, The Festival of Weeks, The Festival of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, The Festival of Tabernacles. All of these have significant meanings in the life of the Israelites and these feasts were also fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Every year the nation of Israel do this.
These feasts should remind us to make celebrations that we can remember what God has done in and through us.
Second, we must listen to God for in doing so He will provide our needs.
Here is the promise of God to us in Psalm 81: 8-10: “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”
But there are conditions in those verses as well. What are these?
First, “Hear me, my people”
How can we hear God? Read the Bible. Go to church. Listen to sermons. Listen to Christian music.
Second, “I will warn you if you would only listen to me”
How can we hear the warnings of God? Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. God can use any situation to warn you. In the Bible, God would often use dreams to warn people.
Third, “You shall have no foreign god among you”
Let us examine ourselves if we have idols in our lives. What are these things that hinder us in focusing ourselves to God alone?
Fourth, “You shall not worship any god other than me. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
We must worship God only. And who is this God? God introduced himself as the one who gave them freedom out of Egypt. This is the God of the Bible.
Third, we must depend on God and not in ourselves.
Psalm 81:11-12 are verses tinged with sadness. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.”
When Israel ceased to exist in the map of the world in 70AD, nobody thought that they will one day become a nation again. But on May 14, 1948, after more than 2,000 years, it happened. Israel became a nation again. It was a fulfillment of a prophecy.
May we never forget that God is trustworthy before, now and forevermore.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on