For the director of music. According to gittith. Of Asaph.
1 Sing praises to God, our strength.
Sing to the God of Jacob.
2 Sing! Beat the tambourine.
Play the sweet lyre and the harp.
3 Blow the ram’s horn at new moon,
and again at full moon to call a festival!
4 For this is required by the decrees of Israel;
it is a regulation of the God of Jacob.
5 He made it a law for Israel
when he attacked Egypt to set us free.
I heard an unknown voice say,
6 “Now I will take the load from your shoulders;
I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
7 You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;
I answered out of the thundercloud
and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude
8 “Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings.
O Israel, if you would only listen to me!
9 You must never have a foreign god;
you must not bow down before a false god.
10 For it was I, the Lord your God,
who rescued you from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.
11 “But no, my people wouldn’t listen.
Israel did not want me around.
12 So I let them follow their own stubborn desires,
living according to their own ideas.
13 Oh, that my people would listen to me!
Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!
14 How quickly I would then subdue their enemies!
How soon my hands would be upon their foes!
As humans, there are certain experiences in life that are common to most of us and when they are spoken of, we can easily relate. I am hoping you can relate to this one: there is an empty spot in your stomach and you have no doubt what it is – you are hungry. You turn to your spouse or friend and say,
“Want to get something to eat, I’m getting a little hungry?” The two of you agree about it being time to eat so the subject quickly becomes what to eat.
One says to the other, ‘what do you got a taste for’ and the other responds, “I don’t know, what you got a taste for.”
“Well, I had fish last night and chicken the night before, I don’t know what I’ve got a taste for, what do you have a taste for?
“Well, I don’t know, fish would have been good but since you had it last night, I don’t know, what I have a taste for.”
Before you know it, you’ve wasted a lot of time and you are much hungrier because of the time lost trying to figure out what to eat.
The sad thing is that once you figure the meal out, sometimes it hits the spot and sometimes it doesn’t. You know that wasn’t it, the meal didn’t satisfy me like I thought it would have. There is still a taste within me for something, I just don’t know what it is and I know I won’t be satisfied until my taste buds say, “now that’s it.”
We will look at Psalm 81 over the next of couple of days as we ask the Lord to show us His ways, teach us His paths, and help us understand our hunger, satisfaction, and taste buds. Not in the physical sense but in the spiritual.
The heading above this Psalm tells us that it was written to the Chief Musician or director of music and was to be accompanied with a lute which is a small 3 string harp, most likely a musical instrument manufactured in Gath. The heading also lets us know that it was written by Asaph, one of the families given responsibility for music and song in the Temple (1 Chronicles 25:1-9). In fact, twelve of the Psalms are attributed to the family of Asaph. He begins by encouraging us to “Sing praises to God, our strength” and that is where we will start on tomorrow.