Psalm 81 – Outline

“A festal Psalm, probably for the passover (compare Mt 26:30 ‘And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.’), in which, after an exhortation to praise God, He is introduced, reminding Israel of their obligations, chiding their neglect, and depicting the happy results of obedience.”  JFB

1. God’s call for worship from His people: vs. 1-5

What can you learn about your own worship of God in song from this Psalm?

2. God’s wonderful works on behalf of His people: vs. 6-7

What has God done in our nation and for you personally that you should never forget?

3. God’s standard of allegiance for His people: vs. 8-9

Is there something in your life that you are putting before God?

4. God’s promise of blessing to His people: vs. 10

Will you personally accept the challenge and promise of this verse?

5. God’s judgment on the rebellion of His people: vs. 11-12

Will you guard your heart from turning from God?

What are the consequences of not listening to God?

Read Romans 1:24 & Acts 7:42

6. God’s lamentation for the unrealized blessings for His people: vs. 13-16

How should this Psalm influence your prayers tonight?

Verse 5 “Where I heard a language that I understood not.  Surely the connection requires that we accept these words as the language of the Lord.  It would be doing great violence to language if the “I” here should be referred to one person, and the “I” in the next verse to another.  But how can it be imagined that the Lord should speak of a language which he understood not, seeing he knows all things, and no form of speech is incomprehensible to him?  The reply is, that the Lord here speaks as the God of Israel identifying himself with his own chosen nation, and calling that an unknown tongue to himself which was unknown to them.  He had never been adored by psalm or prayer in the tongue of Egypt; the Hebrew was the speech known in his sacred house, and the Egyptian was outlandish and foreign there.  In strictest truth, and not merely in figure, might the Lord thus speak, since the wicked customs and idolatrous rites of Egypt were disapproved of by him, and in that sense were unknown.  Of the wicked, Jesus shall say, “I never knew you;” and probably in the same sense this expression should be understood, for it may be correctly rendered, “a speech I knew not I am hearing.”  It was among the griefs of Israel that their taskmasters spake an unknown tongue, and they were thus continually reminded that they were strangers in a strange land.  The Lord had pity upon them, and emancipated them, and hence it was their bounden duty to maintain inviolate the memorial of the divine goodness.  It is no small mercy to be brought out from an ungodly world and separated unto the Lord.”   C. H. Spurgeon


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