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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Psalms 81

Verses 1-16

Psalms 81

A Passover Call

Scripture v. 1-16:

Verses 1-3 constitute an invitation to keep the annual Passover feast joyfully. Israel is called to sing aloud in praise to the God of her strength, making a joyful noise to the covenant God of Jacob, Exodus 19:1-8. For He had delivered them from bondage and adversity, v. 5-7, 10; been an help to them in their times of trouble, v. 14-16; Psalms 46:1.
Verse 2 commands, "Take (or raise) a psalm, (of praise) and bring hither the timbrel (cause it to give forth a sound), the pleasant harp with (in harmony with) the harp or lyre," musical instruments of praise to God, Psalms 33:2.
Verse 3 adds, "blow up the trumpet or horn in the new moon," on or in the first of the month, in order to prepare to celebrate the Passover on the 14th day of the month Nisan, Exodus 12:1-2. It was the first month of the Hebrew year, Leviticus 23:5; Abib Exodus 13:4; Deuteronomy 16:1. ft was to be done "in the time appointed, in our solemn feast day," as described Numbers 10:10; Leviticus 23:24. Such was also done at the festival of the trumpets and tabernacles, 1 Chronicles 15:24; 1 Chronicles 16:6; 2 Chronicles 5:12; 2 Chronicles 13:12; Psalms 98:6. The Passover feast day, chief feast day of Israel, celebrated their deliverance out of Egypt, by the hand of God, 2 Chronicles 30:21.

Verses 4-7 certify that this "day" was a "statute day," for Israel to celebrate the law of the God of Jacob, Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 10:1-10. "This (ordinance) he ordained in Joseph (for Israel) when he went out thru the land in Egypt, preserving his family in Goshen, being preserved by the influence of Joseph, until the exodus or going forth from the land, Psalms 80:1; Amos 6:6; Exodus 12:41; Exodus 12:51; Exodus 34:18; Numbers 22:5; Numbers 33:3; Deuteronomy 9:7; Exodus 11:4. They left a land where they "heard a language" that they understood not," the bitter, galling, bondage, hardship language, Deuteronomy 28:40.
Verse 6 recounts that God removed the burden of carrying the pots (or burden baskets) of mortar, for brick from their shoulder, Exodus 5:6-12; Exodus 6; Exodus 6, 7;2 Chronicles 16:6.

Verse 7 adds Israel called (cried) in trouble and God delivered her; He answered her in the thunder cloud, then proved or tested her at the waters of Meribah. He answered thru clouds of thunder, as related Psalms 72:17-18; Psalms 18:11-13; Habakkuk 3:4; Exodus 14:24; Exodus 19:18-19; Exodus 20:2; Exodus 20:18. At Meribah He tested them by showing both His patience and their provocation, Exodus 17:7; Exodus 15:25; Exodus 16:4; Selah, or digest all this: Consider also: a) Israel called and was delivered in a time of grave trouble, Exodus 2:23; Exodus 14:10; Psalms 50:15; b) God responded from His secret place of thunder clouds, Exodus 19:19; and c) he proved (tested) Israel at Meribah waters, Exodus 17:6-7; Numbers 20:13.

Verses 8-10 call for Israel to listen intently, as His people, as He testified to them that there should be (exist) or abide "no strange god," in their midst, neither should they worship any strange god, Exodus 20:2-3; Deuteronomy 32:12; Isaiah 43:12. He added, "I am (exist as) the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt; Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it," Psalms 37:3; John 15:7; Ephesians 3:20, with all needed to satisfy soul and body, Romans 10; Romans 12; Philippians 4:19; Genesis 15:1; Psalms 16:5.

Verses 11, 12 state, that because Israel would not obey or have anything to do with God, he gave them up (over) to their own covetous lists, to walk after their gluttonous hearts, their own counsels, Jeremiah 7:24; Isaiah 65:2; Acts 7:42; Romans 1:24.

Verses 13, 14 lament that Israel did not give heed to God’s laws or walk in His ways! Rather than their own counsel, Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 41:4; Deuteronomy 5:29; Matthew 23:37. Else the Lord would have put down their enemies, as He ha ’ the Egyptians in former days.

Verses 15, 1 -. assert that the "haters of the Lord", those who took His word lightly, should have submitted to Him, then their time of peace and blessing would have gone on and on for ever, Deuteronomy 33:29. It is added that had they obeyed His voice, His laws, they would have eaten from His hand "the finest of wheat" and been satisfied by Him "with honey out of the rock," Deuteronomy 32:14; Job 29:6. They might have had the dainties of the land had they put God first, above all other gods, as prescribed in the priority of His laws, Exodus 20:1-3; Even as set forth by out Lord, Matthew 6:33.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 81". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.