Psalm 81 starts with a call to worship. The Psalmist is calling everyone to celebrate, most probably, the feast of Tabernacles. He encouraged them to praise and worship God through singing joyfully with accompaniment of the musical instruments. They should remember God’s providence in the wilderness. God is recorded as telling the Israelites to celebrate this feast, and the purpose of celebrating it, in Leviticus 23:41-43.
I want to draw your attention to the history of the Jewish people; Joseph was sold by his brothers. He worked hard in Egypt and became “in charge of all.” In a time of famine, Joseph’s family came to Egypt and stayed there happily yet within 400 years the Jewish people had multiplied and were perceived to be a threat to the Egyptians. So, they were enslaved and their lives made miserable with harsh labour. The Jews cried to God who heard them. God appointed Moses to free them from their slavery and to lead them to the promised land – a deed celebrated in today’s Psalm. What a great encouraging fact for us to know that whenever we call upon God, He is always listening to us. We should know that we can always trust in Him.
God rescued them and He rescued all of us too, through His Son. Colossians 1:13: “He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Three times in these verses, God said, HEAR me, O my people. We need to hear Him. There are many voices around us but we need to focus on only one voice, the voice of our God Almighty. Maybe we have missed many opportunities, today we need to come to him, and hear Him. He made a promise that he will satisfy all our needs.
Gracious Father, we are coming to you and confess that we forgot many times to hear and to follow you. Forgive us and give us wisdom to remember your promises. Help us to remember that all your promises are, “YES” in Christ. Guide us to destroy all our other gods, god of wealth, status, self-admiration and fame and worship you in spirit and truth. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
The Rev’d Memona Shahbaz works with five churches in and around Eastbourne.