Today we read Psalm 81 in the language of The Message, Eugene H. Peterson’s paraphrase/translation for our contemporary understanding.
- What does God ask of the people?
- How does this translate to what God asks of you today?
A song to our strong God!
a shout to the God of Jacob!
Anthems from the choir, music from the band,
sweet sounds from lute and harp,
Trumpets and trombones and horns:
It’s festival day, a feast to God!
A day decreed by God, solemnly ordered by the God of Jacob.
He commanded Joseph to keep this day
so we’d never forget what he did in Egypt.
I hear this most gentle whisper from One
I never guessed would speak to me:
“I took the world off your shoulders,
freed you from a life of hard labor.
You called to me in your pain;
I got you out of a bad place.
I answered you from where the thunder hides,
I proved you at Meribah Fountain.
“Listen, dear ones—get this straight;
O Israel, don’t take this lightly.
Don’t take up with strange gods,
don’t worship the latest in gods.
I’m God, your God, the very God
Who rescued you from doom in Egypt,
then fed you all you could eat,
filled your hungry stomachs.
But my people didn’t listen,
‘Israel paid no attention
So I let go of the reins and told them, ‘Run!
Do it your own way!’
“Oh, dear people, will you listen to me now?
Israel, will you follow my map?
I’ll make short work of your enemies,
give your foes the back of my hand.
I’ll send the God-haters cringing like dogs,
never to be heard from again.
You’ll feast on my fresh-baked bread
spread with butter and rock-pure honey.”