Psalm 81 – If You Would But Listen to Me


Hear, O my people, and I will warn you—If you would but listen to me, O Israel!

You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.

Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.  (Ps 81:8-9)

When we encounter verses such as this in the Bible, two things occur. We wonder how it is possible that Israel could waver in their loyalty to Yahweh. After all, they were in such immediate contact with His miraculous redemption and knew His power intimately. How does one turn away from that?

As we read in the Old Testament, apparently very easily.

“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. (vv 11-12)

The second that occurs is that the Spirit within speaks to us and reminds us of our own stiff neck. The fact that the Spirit speaks to you in moments of temptation to disobedience or disloyalty puts you in the same immediacy. You have within yourself the intimacy with God that Israel shared through words and common experience. All you have to do is listen.

You know the transformation that God has wrought in you. He has released you from bondage to your Enemy, freed you from the constraints of a corrupted heart. All He asks is that you listen, that you follow His ways.

That’s not so hard, is it?

Grace and peace to you..


image by b rosen

%d bloggers like this: