Worship God Only, Or Not, It’s Your Choice…For Now

Psalm 81


1-5 | A Call To Worship God
6-10 | God calls the people to worship only Him, because He rescued them from Egypt
11-16 | God let’s people choose to worship Him or not


This psalm encourages people to worship God for the very joy of it upon the appointed times of the Lord, in particular the new moon (v3).  Why?  The answer is in verses 4-5, because the Lord made it an ordinance when He delivered the people from Egypt (Numbers 28:11-15).

The second paragraph gives God’s response to this call to worship.  God lays out His reasons for doing so in this manner.

  • God relieved them of their burden–the manual labor in Egypt.
  • God rescued them when the called out to Him.
  • God answered them from heaven.
  • God proved them faithful when they called out for water at Meribah.

Next we see God calling the people to listen to Him.  The psalmist helps us to picture God imploring the people to listen, and at the same time God knowing they won’t (v8).

Next we find God’s desire for them to worship only Him and why repeated.

Psalms 81:10 NASB  “I, the LORD, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

God had brought them up out of Egypt and had provided for them during their time in the wilderness.  Twice with water when there appeared to be none around and daily with manna.  God literally filled their mouths when they were in need.  He also promises to continue filling those who follow after and worship him solely (v16).

Here are some other verses that talk about God’s provision for His people.

Psalms 37:3-4 NASB Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

John 7:37-38 NASB Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”

John 15:7 NASB “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 16:23 NASB “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.

Ephesians 3:19-21 NASB and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 21:6-7 NASB Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

Revelation 22:17 NASB The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

This alone should be enough of a reason to focus their worship solely on God, but the people were stubborn and desired to worship other gods and “to walk in their own devices.”  Sadly, God’s recognizes that many who have received the blessings of God will choose to follow after their own devices.  But even that is short-lived and the judgment to come will result in eternal punishment.

Why choose any other way?  Sure you might be satisfied for now, but eternally you will suffer the anguish of eternal separation from God.  Something that God doesn’t want.  Heed the call of the psalmist:

Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.

Lord God, You are our good, heavenly Father who gives good gifts to His children and disciplines those who choose to follow their own devices.  Forgives us when we look to ourselves or others to satisfy our desires and turn our backs on You.  Restore us when we seek Your face again.  Thank You for the many blessings You give us each day.  May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Below are the results of a search for the word “devices”.

Psalms 5:10 NASB Hold them guilty, O God; By their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, For they are rebellious against You.

Psalms 81:12 NASB “So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices.

Psalms 140:8 NASB “Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; Do not promote his evil device, that they not be exalted. Selah.

Proverbs 1:31 NASB “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices.

Proverbs 14:17 NASB A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 NASB “Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

Micah 6:16 NASB “The statutes of Omri And all the works of the house of Ahab are observed; And in their devices you walk. Therefore I will give you up for destruction And your inhabitants for derision, And you will bear the reproach of My people.”

Psalm 81 - Worship God Only, Or Not, It's Your Choice...For Now
Psalm 81 - Worship God Only, Or Not, It's Your Choice...For Now
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