Psalm 81

Asaph wrote this song for the music leader. Use special music.

God gives us strength

81:1This psalm was written to sing at a festival. It was probably the Festival of Huts. See Leviticus 23:33-43.

1 Sing with joy to praise God!

He is the one who makes us strong!

Shout aloud to the God of Jacob.

81:1‘Jacob’ is another name for ‘Israel’, so ‘God of Jacob’ means Israel's God.

2 Start the music! Beat your tambourines!

Make beautiful music on your harps and lyres.

3 Start the New Moon Festival

with the sound of the trumpet.

Also do it on the day of the Full Moon.

81:3There were two festivals in October. The first one started when the moon was new. The second one started two weeks later, when the moon was full. The second one was the Feast of Huts.

4 This is a rule for Israel's people.

The God of Jacob commanded us to do it.

5 When God punished the land of Egypt,

he gave this rule to Joseph's family.

I heard a voice that I did not know.

6 It said: ‘I took the heavy load off your back.

You no longer had to carry those heavy baskets.

7 When you had trouble, you called to me for help

and I made you safe.

I answered your prayers

from the middle of the dark storm.

I tested you at Meribah,

when you had no water in the wilderness.


8 I said, “My people, listen to me!

I warn you now.

Listen carefully to me, Israel's people!

9 There must not be any strange god among you.

You must never worship a foreign god.

10 I am the Lord, your God.

I brought you out of the land of Egypt.

Open your mouth wide,

and I will fill it with many good things.”

81:10Verses 8-10 tell us what God said to his people in the wilderness. He warned them to worship only him. He promised to feed them and give them everything that they needed, if they obeyed him.

11 But my people refused to listen to me.

My people, Israel, did not obey me.

12 So I let them follow their own proud ideas.

They could do whatever they wanted to do.

13 But my people should listen to me!

Yes, Israel should obey my commands!

14 Then I would quickly win against their enemies.

I would attack them all.’

15 (Then people who hate the Lord

would fall down with fear in front of him.

They would be ashamed for ever.)

16 ‘But I would feed you, my people, with the best wheat.

I would give you plenty of honey from the rock,

for you to eat and be full.’