Text: Psalm 81
Theme: God longs to satisfy us with His best but we must meet His criteria.
Key verses: “Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Jacob. Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. Blow the ram’s horn…For this is required by the decrees of Israel…” (v. 1-4). “Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me! You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god. For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths! How quickly I would then subdue their enemies!” (v. 8-14a). “But I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock” (v. 16).
What God said to me: Son, you don’t even know how much I want to satisfy you–really deeply satisfy the longings of your soul. I made you. I know what you need to be most fulfilled and at peace. I’m not promising you happiness and thrills and easy sailing, and I’m not committed to giving your flesh what it wants. Your flesh will fail you and your heart is deeply deceptive above all things. You must trust me–not yourself–for what you need. Asaph gave three distinct requirements from me, that I expect from my people in order for me to bless them and satisfy them: 1. You must praise me. You must boldly and outwardly worship me. Make the choice to rejoice. Yep, it made the top of this list–I expect praise from my people. 2. You must not bow to other gods. Your lust, your pride, your secret musings and hidden actions–I see them all. You must die to yourself, and walk in the Spirit, so you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. This is not an option. I hate false gods and and my wrath is kindled against anyone who bows to them. Repent and turn from your wicked ways. 3. You must obey and walk in my ways. By inference, you must stay in my Word, meditating on it day and night. This is not a complicated requirement. Simply listen to me and then obey what I say. Do these three things, so that I can then satisfy you, my dearly loved son, from my vast treasure chest of spiritual blessings.
What I said to God: Precious Lord, my God, You are my Strength! You are my God. I am so sorry when I bow my heart and mind and body to false gods. I repent today and choose to worship You! Open my lips and my mouth will praise You! Help me and my family always stay in Your Book, to listen to Your decrees and obey them. Please continue to show us mercy and grace as You have done so generously throughout my life. Thank You for Your forgiveness and peace! You are the lover of our souls, and only You can satisfy us completely and eternally.
Text: Psalm 81