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What an amazing display of God’s goodness is to be found in Psalm 81.
The Psalm begins with a call to the people to praise God for His goodness.
But then, the language takes an important turn.
In the latter half of vs. 6 – the voice of God is heard and the rest of the Psalm becomes a most passionate plea from God for His people to return to Him.
You have to read it slowly and thoughtfully or you will miss the tone and the emotion of it.
How God pleads with His people.
I find this absolutely amazing.
The God of the universe, who spoke all of physical creation into existence; who made us for Himself to bear His own image – is also unspeakably and astoundingly – humble!
He is not prideful – He humbles Himself in the most aching pleadings.
Visiting the Jews in their Egyptian captivity He says: “I hear a language I had not known.”
In other words, the people of God didn’t sound like the people of God anymore.
Praise and honor for their God didn’t characterize their speech – but they sounded just like the rest of the World; profane, lost and hopeless.
I wonder if God visited your house and mine today – the Church today, if He would marvel that we sound more like the World? Fretful over things of no eternal value, profane, vengeful raging. Speech bereft of encouragement and faith pointing to Jesus, and instead full of vitriol, invective and even obscenities.
How do we speak to our families when we think no one is listening?
Or consider the “speech” which is masked by the anonymity and safe distance afforded us by the internet. What we say and how we say it in postings and comments.
What we talk about most, our tone and our vocabulary are all windows into our soul’s condition.
He then goes on to recount how He delivered them from Egypt (we could liken that to our own salvation); took them through the desert; admonished them repeatedly for their good; chastened them in their disobedience – and still suffered their turning to other gods.
And then He cries out in vss 13-16 “Oh that my people would listen to me!” That they would walk in my ways.
If we would just listen He says – He would soon subdue our enemies and fight against our foes. He would battle for us against our sins.
And that His desire is to feed us with the finest of the wheat – He desires nothing but the very best for us.
The “best” which He then denominates as this: “With honey from the Rock I would satisfy you.”
What a word picture that is. It’s a direct reference back to Deuteronomy 32 where God identifies Himself as the Rock of our salvation 5 times – and testifies that He does what seems counter to all normal reason – that when we turn to Him, rest in Him and stand upon Him as our sure foundation – the end result is that we are satisfied with a sweetness which the world can know absolutely nothing about.
For in the natural, one does not get sweetness, from a rock.
Beloved, if life is bitter to you right now, unstable and hard – know this – your God pleads with you in the most humble and passionate way to turn to Him once again to be filled with the sweetness that can only come from Him.
Check your speech. It will tell you where you are.
But you do not need to stay there. Look to Him.
And your speech will soon take on the same sweetness you are taking in.
Let that soak into your soul today.
God bless, and God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.