Psalm 81 … Consider Him and Listen!

“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, if you would listen to Me!”
(81:8).

Psalm 81 is a festival song, although both the time (pre-exilic, post-exilic) and the kind of festival (Passover/Unleavened Bread, Jewish New Year, Feast of Tabernacles) are undetermined. It was, however, a definite call to celebrate and commemorate God’s deliverance and salvation of His people, and also a call to a time of heart examination. The Law called for several yearly festivals as times of corporate gatherings to honor and praise the Lord for His mighty deeds, times to look back on His faithfulness, times to uproot doubt and strengthen the peoples’ faith and obedience for their future.

It’s also why we gather Sunday mornings and follow a similar pattern, beginning with heart preparation through music, instruments and songs, that we might be readied to hear and respond in worship, praise, faith and obedience to the message of His Word.

Sing for joy to God our strength;
Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song, strike the timbrel,
The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
At the full moon, on our feast day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
An ordinance of the God of Jacob,
(81:1-4).

And as His Word was proclaimed, God reminded His children of their cries for help and of His answer in delivering them out of their bondage in Egypt and leading them through the wilderness.

“You called in trouble and I rescued you;
I answered you in the hiding place of thunder;
I proved you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
(81:7).

But His Word is never meant to go forth merely as a ritualistic tradition. He sends forth His Word that we would Consider Him and Listen!

Consider Him and Listen!

There are many places in Scripture that admonish us to Listen. We hear God’s heart, as though breaking, as He pleads with His children to Listen.

“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, if you would listen to Me! (81:8).

“Oh that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways! (81:13).

God calls us to Listen; this is His chosen provision for our salvation through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35).

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ, (Romans10:17).

And faith will be supported, strengthened and matured as we Consider Him and Listen!

  • Consider Him and Listen, that we would be warned!
    • “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you;
      O Israel, if you would listen to Me!
      (81:8).
    • “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him,” (John 3:36).
  • Consider Him and Listen, that we would worship only Him!
    • “Let there be no strange god among you;
      Nor shall you worship any foreign god,”
      (81:9).
    • For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:9-11).
  • Consider Him and Listen, that we would be filled!
    • “I, the Lord, am your God,
      Who brought you up from the land of Egypt;
      Open your mouth wide and I will fill it,”
      (81:10).
    • having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God, (Philippians 1:11).
  • Consider Him and Listen, that we would walk in His ways!
    • “Oh that My people would listen to Me,
      That Israel would walk in My ways!”
      (81:13).
    • Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me,” (Matthew 16:24).
  • Consider Him and Listen, that our enemies would be subdued!
    • “I would quickly subdue their enemies
      And turn My hand against their adversaries,
      (81:14).
    • “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world,” (John 6:33).
  • Consider Him and Listen, that our love would be demonstrated in our obedience!
    • “Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him,
      And their time of punishment would be forever,”
      (81:15).
    • And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’” (Matthew 22:37-39).
  • Consider Him and Listen, that we would be nourished and satisfied!
    • “But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
      And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you,”
      (81:16).
    • Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst,” (John 6:35).

How are we to respond as we Consider Him and Listen?

When the Lord says, “Listen!” He is not merely asking that we passively hear His Words. When He tells us to Listen, He is compassionately and graciously calling us to obedience. And the truth is, every time we open His Word, He calls us to Consider Him and Listen! Because we are in serious danger when we don’t.

“But My people did not listen to My voice,
And Israel did not obey Me.
12 So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart,
To walk in their own devices,”
(81:11-12).

He does not force us to Listen; and because He has given us free will, we can choose to Listen and obey, or we can determine to walk in our own stubborn ideas and plans. The choice is ours, and both have considerable ramifications.

We can choose to close our ears, refuse to Listen, and go down the path of folly; or we can choose to Listen, and experience His blessings as He grows us more and more in faith, love and obedience.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel,
(Proverbs 12:15).

  • Let us Consider Him and Listen in solitude, that we may hear His voice and open the door to intimate fellowship with Him!
    • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me,” (Revelation 3:20).
  • Let us Consider Him and Listen in the fellowship of believers, that we would be encouraged to live faithfully in wisdom and holy reverence!
    • I will hear what God the Lord will say;
      For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;
      But let them not turn back to folly.
      Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
      That glory may dwell in our land,
      (Psalm 85:8-9).
  • Let us Consider Him and Listen in faith, that we may know His truth!
    • But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come,” (John 16:13).
  • Let us Consider Him and Listen to obey, that we may be blessed!
    • But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it,” (Luke 11:28).

Oh, Lord, please prepare our hearts each and every day that we would daily Consider You and Listen, for then we will know, and walk in Your way!

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul,
(Psalm 143:8).

Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left, (Isaiah 30:21).

Let’s Grow Together!

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