Psalm 81
Contemporary English Version

(By Asaph for the music leader.+ )

God Makes Us Strong

1Be happy and shout to God

who makes us strong!

Shout praises to the God

of Jacob.

2Sing as you play tambourines

and the lovely sounding

stringed instruments.

3 Sound the trumpets and start

the New Moon Festival.+

We must also celebrate

when the moon is full.

4This is the law in Israel,

and it was given to us

by the God of Jacob.

5The descendants of Joseph

were told to obey it,

when God led them out

from the land of Egypt.

In a voice unknown to me,

I heard someone say:

6“I lifted the burden

from your shoulder

and took the heavy basket

from your hands.

7 When you were in trouble,

I rescued you,

and from the thunderclouds,

I answered your prayers.

Later I tested you

at Meribah Spring.+

8“Listen, my people,

while I, the Lord,

correct you!

Israel, if you would only

pay attention to me!

9 Don't worship foreign gods

or bow down to gods

you know nothing about.

10I am the Lord your God.

I rescued you from Egypt.

Just ask, and I will give you

whatever you need.

11“But, my people, Israel,

you refused to listen,

and you would have nothing

to do with me!

12So I let you be stubborn

and keep on following

your own advice.

13“My people, Israel,

if only you would listen

and do as I say!

14I, the Lord, would quickly

defeat your enemies

with my mighty power.

15Everyone who hates me

would come crawling,

and that would be the end

of them.

16But I would feed you

with the finest bread

and with the best honey+

until you were full.”


Psalm 81 leader: See the note at Psalm 8.
81.3 New Moon Festival: Celebrated on the first day of each new moon, which was the beginning of the month. But this may refer to either the New Year celebration or the Harvest Festival. “The moon is full” suggests a festival in the middle of the month.
81.7 Meribah Spring: When the people of Israel complained to Moses about the need for water, God commanded Moses to strike a rock with his walking stick, and water came out. The place was then named Massah (“test”) and Meribah (“complaining”).
81.16 the best honey: The Hebrew text has “honey from rocks,” referring to honey taken from beehives in holes or cracks in large rocks.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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