July 15, 2015.
Daily Reading: Psalm 81-83.
Background: Psalm 78-80.
Concepts and Connections.
“Oh that My people would listen to Me”: After the opening stanza as a call for the people of God to sing and praise the Lord, the rest of this psalm is written from the perspective of God admonishing His people. He calls to them and reminds them how He has heard their cry in their distress, how He has relieved their burden and delivered them. He tells them to have no other god among them, for He is their God and is willing to fill and satisfy if only they come to Him alone. But His people would not listen, and they went after other gods, and for this they were delivered into the hand of their enemies. In the end, however, we see the love of God for His people, longing for their return that He might be their God and fulfill and satisfy all their needs. Let us cling to this love of God and not follow after the example of the children of Israel in following after other gods (which come in the form of anything that takes priority over the Lord).
The judgement of God: This psalm is written from the perspective of God addressing the rulers of the people, those who sat in judgment of the people (perhaps even divine judgment, in that they received word from God, see John 10:34-35). He addresses them because they have tainted their position, showing favor to the wicked and oppressing the weak and needy. He calls for justice and deliverance of those who need it, but the leaders seem not to listen. Because they do not listen, though they hold a position of authority, they will fall due to their injustice. Part of this psalm is quoted by Jesus in John 10:31-39 when the Jews wanted to stone Him for blasphemy as He said He was the Son of God. He pointed to this psalm and noted that the Lord called them gods to whom the word of God came. The psalm ends with a call to God to arise and judge the earth.
A cry for action: This psalm is a call to action of God to arise and deliver His people from the enemies that are conspiring against them. Their enemies, cited explicitly, want to rise up against Israel and wipe them out, causing Israel to be remembered no more. The psalmist calls on great battles of the past where God has destroyed the enemies of His people, such as Midian (see Numbers 31:7), Sisera and Jabin (see Judges 4:15,24), Oreb and Zeeb (see Judges 7:25, 8:3) and Zebah and Zalmunna (see Judges 8:5-21). The psalmist calls for their destruction and shame, that they might know that the Lord is the Most High over all of the earth.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Proverbs 13.
May God deliver you.